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Featured Reviews

Blind River and Lawson’s Dry Hills ‘Reserve’ 2016 Pinot Noirs

24 April,2018

Over 25 years of winegrowing, Lawson’s Dry Hills has forged a reputation second to none for its Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and aromatic white varieties. However the team at Lawson’s Dry Hills over the past few years has upped the ante with its Pinot Noir programme. The identification of superior vineyard sites, the best performing clones, small batch fermentation and careful selection of tanks and barrels for blending has seen Pinot Noirs of increasing quality be released. Here I review two 2016 Pinot Noir variants from Lawson’s Dry Hills, the Awatere Valley-sourced ‘Blind River’ and Lawson’s Dry Hills ‘Reserve’ bottlings.


Blind River Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Moderately deep ruby-red colour with a little garnet, lighter on the rim. The nose is full and firmly packed with soft, but intense aromas of dark-red and black cherry fruit, along with dark raspberries, and notes of minerally reduction and nutty, charry oak. The aromatics grow in depth and concentration with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright, vibrant and intense flavours dark-red and bitter cherries along with nuances of dark raspberries and an amalgam of dark herbs, minerals and nutty oak. The fruit richness is underlined by fine, grainy tannin extraction with balanced acidity. The wine carries with good energy and linearity to a rich, sweet, cherryish finish. This is a soft, full and gently packed, sweetly rich dark-red and bitter cherry-fruited Pinot Noir with notes od minerally reduction and nutty, charry oak on a fine, grainy palate. Serve with barbecued, roasted and grilled poultry and pork dishes over the next 4+ years. Awatere Valley fruit, destemmed and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 25% new French oak barrels. 17.0+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $35.00

Lawson’s Dry Hills ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Marlborough


Even ruby-red colour with some depth and light purple hues, a little paler edged. The nose is fresh and elegantly presented with gentle volume and piquant ethereal aromas of dark-red berry fruit, dark-red and violet florals and a layer of minerally reduction and fine, nutty oak. This has a taut core. Medium-bodied, the palate is fine and poised with fresh, vibrant, fragrant flavours of dark-red cherries and berries entwined with a complex amalgam of dark-red florals, minerally reduction and nutty oak. The fruit is succulent and the mouthfeel is vibrant, and enlivened by fresh acidity and supported by fine-grained, flowery tannins. This has an elegant core and line and carries to a sustained finish. This is an elegantly concentrated and refined Pinot Noir with vibrant, aromatic fruit along with complex reductive and oak notes. Match with roast duck, pork, lamb and beef over the next 5-6 years. A barrel selection wine. Clones 5, 115, 667 and 777, fruit from the company’s estate and neighbouring ‘Barnsley’ vineyards in the Waihopai Valley fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 25% new French oak barriques and puncheons. 17.5/20 Apr 2018 RRP $30.00

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