Dry River Chardonnay 2018
Availability: 28 in stock
This is a wine we are very proud of. Our Craighall Chardonnay is nearing the intensity and structure we so desire from the old Dry River plantings, which are in decline due to old age. This is very promising to see, since for many years Dry River was so unique in its quality. The warmth of the vintage has left its signature through complexity, restraint and approachability.
In our eyes it is what one can expect from a classic style of chardonnay; delicious, luscious. The wine is laced with soft tones of oak with almond meal, freshly baked croissant skin and pistachio nuts showing through. The complexity of the individual aromatics are subtle, but rather overwhelming as a whole. It is cloaked with spices like coriander, cumin and caraway seeds, then fennel, nougat and cinnamon quill. The palate is seamless and focussed. This is mainly resulting from a solid backbone of soft acidity coated with a creamy, velvety texture. Hints of popcorn and oak are quickly muted with an array of classic chardonnay flavours and a light buoyancy. It ticks all the boxes for us and the subtle style we would like to produce.
Dry River Wine
Dry River was established in 1979 by Dr Neil and Dawn McCallum and was one of Martinborough’s first wineries. Named for one of South Wairarapa’s earliest sheep stations, Dry River rests on the very arid, gravelly, free-draining soils near the Ruamahanga River, an area known as the Martinborough Terrace.
The McCallums’ dream was to produce unique, high-quality wines that age beautifully. It has been our focus ever since.
Who Makes Dry River Wine?
Dry River is run by a dedicated team of six. Chief winemaker Wilco Lam is assisted by Sam Rouse in the winery, while the vineyards are tended by vineyard manager James Pittard, assisted by Michelle Mills and Alex Muir. Sarah Bartlett is Dry River’s business manager, taking care of customers, sales and marketing.
Principles of Their Wine
From the very first vintage, Dry River has followed three key vineyard management principles: no irrigation, careful canopy management, and crop thinning. These three concepts work together to produce grapes of remarkable ripeness and concentration.
If you want to read more about this incredible vineyard, view their website here.
Although a small region, there’s no doubt about the fact Martinborough packs a punch. Producing some of New Zealand’s most acclaimed wines and garnering a large following. The regions first vines were planted back in 1883, but it wasn’t until 1970 that heads started to turn and Martinborough was competing on the world stage. The region features a diverse selection of wines, but the silt loam and gravelly sub-soils of the Martinborough Terrace ensure pinot noir and sauvignon blanc grapes flourish.
The areas three sub-regions; Martinborough, Masterton and Gladstone and have similar grape varieties planted, but the differing terroir of each brings out unique flavours. The Wairarapa makes up 3% of New Zealand’s total production. This number is contributed to by the fact vineyard yields in the area below the national average, this alone is a large contributor to the regions success.
While Martinborough is a small colonial village with many of the producers in the area being family owned and run. Only a short drive north of New Zealand’s’ capital city Wellington, the area is well situated as has earned the reputation as the wine hub of the Wairarapa. Gladstone is a little south of Masterton, Wairarapa’s largest town and is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country, luckily for us, it has plenty of room to grow!
Wairarapa is one of the coolest and driest areas in the north island, with climate and soil conditions similar to that of Burgundy, it’s no surprise that the wines produced in the area are some of New Zealand’s finest.