Dry River Pinot Noir 2016
Availability: 5 in stock
The 2016 vintage was our driest growing year in recent wine cultivation history. Fruit set was above average, and combined with good heat accumulation the resulting wine certainly shows ample concentration. Care was exercised in maintaining yield, approximately four tonnes/ha, and vigilant winegrowing techniques enabled ripening of what I consider to be a classic and refined. Dry River Pinot noir. Immediately red currant, strawberries and plum fruit deliver an aromatic hit.
Though primary red fruit are visibly dominant, there is more to be found; Christmas spices, rosehip and floral notes like lilies and freshly cut hay are the more obvious characters that we see. The supporting role of the oak intensifies the underlying tobacco and caramel notes. The palate shows a youthful intensity with a tendency to speak with great clarity. However, another more serene voice commands the fruit to spread out and surrender to the maze of tannins and juicy acidity that ascends from underneath. They bring a degree of order and longevity through their ripe phenolic compounds.
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.