Winemaker's Comments: Matured 12 months in French puncheons (20% new).
Deep red in colour with a ruby hue.
The nose has full dark fruit notes of blackcurrant and blackberry. At this stage the wine shows some aromatic floral notes and sinew, just enough to balance the opulence of the fruit. There are some subtle oak notes in the form of a gentle walnut like nuance.
The palate is well structured at this early stage with an abundance of front palate tannins, however most are cloaked by the richness of the fruit and the density of the flavours. Some sweetness peeks through, although only as a foil for the acidity, which combined, adds to the overall palate presence.
If drinking as a young wine, we would recommend decanting first and serving slightly warmer than usual. Expect this wine to cellar well. 13.5% alc/vol
5* - Michael Cooper
Dark and densely flavoured, this Martinborough red ranks among New Zealand's greatest Pinot Noirs. It is grown in three company-owned vineyards – Dry River Estate, Craighall and Lovat – on the Martinborough Terrace, and 90 per cent of the vines are over 20 years old. Matured for a year in French oak hogsheads (20 to 30 per cent new), it is a slower developing wine than other New Zealand Pinot Noirs, but matures superbly.
98 pts - Bob Campbell (MW)
An intense, velvety Pinot Noir, with strong sweet cherry, Oriental spices, plum, violet and nutty oak flavours. A powerful wine in a style that often attracts criticism for being too big and lacking varietal identity, but you only need to taste this wine after a decade in bottle to begin to appreciate its wonderful potential and true varietal character. Deliciously approachable now but much better later.
Review by Rymond Chan
Very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with slight purple hues on the edge.
The nose is finely concentrated and tightly bound with aromas of black cherry and black-berried fruits entwined with black minerals and subtle dark herbs, and delicately complexing whole cluster stalk and stem perfumes. Black and dark red florals and a suggestion of toasty oak emerge with aeration.
Medium-full bodied and elegantly presented, sweet and luscious fruit flavours of blackberries and black cherries are the feature and are melded with dark herbs and complexing stalk and stem whole cluster nuances, along with black minerals. The fruit sweetness is enhanced by fresh, lacy acidity, and the mouthfeel supported by refined tannin extraction.
The palate is refreshing with the fruit sweetness balanced and driven by acid cut, and the wine carries to a long and sustained, supple-textured finish. This is an elegant and gently sweet Pinot Noir with subtle layers of complexity and fine tannin and acid freshness. Match with wild duck and pork over the next 5-6+ years.