This winery is widely regarded as New Zealand’s finest Pinot Noir producer, and its Chards are exceptional, too. Smells young, fresh and oaky. One sip is all it takes: You’ll love the flinty, mineral flavors accompanied by young tropical fruit and the ripest peaches. A superb wine, and an education for fruit-forward fans. Needs time.
Intense dried-apricot aromas and flavors indicate a high degree of botrytis, which would be overwhelming except for the trademark New Zealand acidity. Despite the heavy botrytis and sweet mango fruit, a sharp lime-citrus edge cuts through the richness, suggesting that cellaring 3–5 years is possible.
Unusually lush, even for this vintage, it starts with pronounced aromas of limes and lemons, fresh green apples, and juniper berries, and turns luscious in the mouth. Partial barrel fermentation and lees aging create a creamy, smoky mouthfeel, while the fruity flavors are volcanic. But it’s dry and elegant. Virtually flawness Sauvignon Blanc.
Impressively big, rich and well extracted, with bold black cherry flavors, but also complex hints of cinnamon and other spices, floral notes and a pleasant herbal tinge to the softly tannic finish. Approachable now, but probably better in 3–4 years. Just 500 cases produced. Imported by Meadowbank Estates.
Since its debut in 2003, this has been one of New Zealand’s top Pinot Noirs, combining power, structure and complexity. Smoky and richly peppery at first, it turns more floral with aeration, and while it’s big in the mouth, it’s also silky in texture. The black cherry, plum, vanilla and spice flavors fan out on the long, layered finish. Drink now–2015.
Toasty and mealy on the nose, but those characters are well balanced by honeyed peach and citrus scents. Tasted over two days, on the first it seemed quite open and welcoming, lush and richly textured, while on the second it had closed down a bit and seemed tighter and more citrusy. Finishes long, with marked smoky notes.
Dry River doesn’t get a ton of press for its Chardonnay, but this is a terrific example of what Martinborough can do. Restrained toast and oak-spice elements complement fruits that range from melon to apple and citrus. It’s medium in body, with a long, crisp, citrusy finish. Drink it over the next 5–6 years.
Convincingly demonstrates that a wine can be rich and well extracted, yet retain a sense of balance and elegance. Ripe, plummy fruit is framed by dry spices and toasty oak; the wine is full bodied but seems almost weightless. An intriguing herbal thread winds through the wine from start to finish, offering a compelling note of complexity.