Featured Reviews

Cambridge Road Martinborough 2016 ‘Animus Noir’ and 2017 and 2013 Pinot Noirs

16 July,2018

Lance Redgwell and Cambridge Road Vineyard represent the modern face and enquiring mind of the ‘third wave’ of winegrowers in Martinborough. In 2006, he purchased the 1.8 ha vineyard planted to 73% Pinot Noir and 27% Syrah in 1986, and thus gained the valuable resource of old vines, the Syrah possibly among the oldest in the Martinborough district. Lance approaches his winemaking with a philosophy of minimal intervention, and is adventurous in his winemaking, not afraid of employing edgy techniques that are seen in the making of ‘natural’ wines. and indeed his diverse portfolio includes many examples of these ‘cutting edge’ styles. As his Cambridge Road vineyard has a limited yield, Lance sources fruit from other vineyards in the region, and beyond. He has plenty of support from other like-minded winemakers, such as Alex Craighead, who was at Alana Estate until recently, and cites Theo Coles, Jen Parr and Dom Maxwell as winemakers who inspire him. He has captured the attention of many of the sommeliers who are keen to work with the innovative and alternative styles. I should point out that Lance is broad-minded and has wines which are more ‘conventional’, but continues to investigate the influences of technique on style. Here, I review the 2016 ‘Animus Noir’, plus 2017 and 2013 Pinot Noirs. www.cambridgeroad.co.nz


Cambridge Road ‘Animus’ Noir’ Martinborough 2016

Blended Red from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Even ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim with a hint of garnet. The nose is full and up-front with good volume and depth of savoury dark-red berry fruit along with an amalgam of red florals, spices, dark earth with dried herbs and game notes. This speaks of umami! Medium-bodied, the palate is rounded, sweetly rich and gently mouthfilling with soft flavours of savoury red berry fruit entwined with notes of game, spices and earth, unveiling red floral elements. This has good depth and a positive core, with fine, supple tannin extraction underlining the fruit. Light acidity lends background freshness. The flavours carry to a soft finish of savoury red fruit and earthy notes. This is a soft, gently mouthfilling Pinot Noir-based red with savoury red berryfruit, dried herb, earth and game flavours on a supple palate. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 3-4 years. A blend of 86% Syrah and 4% Riesling from the ‘Vynfields’ site and 10% Syrah from ‘Cambridge Road’ vines 24-30 y.o., the wine fermented to 13.3% alc., the wine aged 22 months in neutral oak. 1,174 bottles made. 17.5-/20 Jul 2018 RRP $40.00

Cambridge Road Martinborough Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Even, dark ruby-red colour, paler on the rim with slight purple tints. The nose is elegant in proportion with a well-concentrated core of red cherry and savoury berry fruit along with fragrant red florals, fresh and dark herbs and piquant whole bunch stalk perfumes. The nose has depth, firmness and intensity, revealing its cool fruit notes in the glass. Medium-bodied, the palate has a bright and lively core of red cherry and savoury berry fruit melded with fresh and dark herbs, and aromatic whole bunch stalk notes and hints of red florals. The palate is soft-textured with light, fine tannin extraction, and is enlivened by fresh, balanced acidity. The wine has energy and carries to a lingering, taut finish of cherries, herbs and stalks. This is a fresh and intensely flavoured cool-spectrum Pinot Noir with cherry fruit entwined with herbs and stalks on a soft, fine-grained palate. Match with tapas and herb-marinated poultry or pork dishes over the next 4 years. Clones 5 and Abel, from the ‘Cambridge Road’ vineyard, vines 31 y.o., indigenous yeast fermented with 100% whole bunch and only light foot treading to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in neutral oak. 1,969 bottles made. 17.0+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $45.00

Cambridge Road Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with slight garnet hues and a little bricking on the rim. The bouquet is full with good volume showing ripe dark-red berry fruit along with the beginnings of complexing savoury dried herbs, Middle Eastern spices, dusty earth and game, from secondary development. The aromatics are harmonious, and build in depth and density with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a firmly bound and concentrated heart of sweetly ripe dark-red berry fruit complexed by a layering of dark herbs, along with savoury secondary game, spice and earth notes. Some nutty oak elements emerge to add interest. The palate and fruit have good energy and drive, and are supported by plenty of fine-grained tannin extraction and grip with balanced acidity. The wine carries to a strong savoury-flavoured finish. This is a powerful and concentrated Pinot Noir with complex flavours of red fruits, herbs, earth and spices with secondary game notes on a palate with considerable structure. Match with roasted red meats and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6-8+ years. Clone 5, Abel, 6, 114, 667 and 115 from the ‘Cambridge Road’ vineyard, vines 19-25 y.o., fermented with ‘elevated levels’ of whole bunch to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 22 months in barrel. 2,441 bottles made. 18.0+/20 Jul 2018 RRP $60.00

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