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Featured Reviews

Dry River ‘Lovat’ Gewurztraminer 2016

21 April,2017
Many aficionados would say that the aromatic whites of Dry River are the best wines from this iconic Martinborough winery. The Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminers from Dry River can certainly be counted mong this country’s best expressions of these varieties. Much of the quality comes from vine age, but also the low yields and picking at the ideal time to make the desired styles. With Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, generally later picking has lent the Dry River wines with a degree of richness, fruit weight and unctuous texture that few other wineries match. Of course, late picking is very vintage dependant, and the luxury of doing so without any pressure of disease occurs less often than desired. The original Gewurztraminers came from the ‘Dry River Estate’, the plantings coming from cuttings from Bill and Denis Irwin’s Matawhero vines, but these are now gone.. To ensure consistency and health of the Gewurztraminer, Neil and Dawn McCallum obtained the new ‘Colmar’ clones of the variety, and planted them in the ‘Lovat’ vineyard. These vines are around 23 y.o. now, and have been performing beautifully for many years. I tasted the 2016 ‘Lovat’ Gewurztraminer at the 2017 Autumn Release mail order tasting (click here to see my report). All of the 2016 whites showed the style of freshness and vitality, maybe a little less richness and unctuousness, but to compensate, the aromatics are more piquant and pronounced. Here is my ‘Feature Review’ of the 2016 ‘Lovat’ Gewurztraminer.


Dry River ‘Lovat’ Martinborough Gewurztraminer 2016

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, light golden-hued yellow with some depth, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is very fresh with refined and tightly bound, concentrated and penetrating with aromas of rose-petals and exotic florals, with notes of ripe yellow stonefruits unfolding a layer of musk entwined with nuances of honey and nuts. Medium to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has bright, lively and rich with exotic fruit flavours of rose-petals and florals entwined with tropical fruits and yellow stonefruits, forming a concentrated core with notes of musk, spices and nutty elements. The palate has a firm line enlivened by refreshing, steely acidity, and the wine flows smoothly with fine textures guiding the flavours to a very long and sustained off-dry finish showing musk, florals, spices and honey. This is a tightly bound and concentrated medium Gewurztraminer with rich, but firm flavours of exotic florals, musk, spices and honey on a fresh, linear palate with a long, lingering finish. Serve with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 5+ years. The fruit with shrivel harvested in 4 stages, the earliest pick comprising 12% of the wine fermented in and aged 8 months in a seasoned hogshead barrel, the remaining picks, the last with heavy botrytis infection, fermented in stainless-steel and aged 6 month on lees. The wine is 13.5% alc. and approx. 20 g/L RS, with TA 5.5 g/L and pH 3.46. 19.0+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $45.00

Pale straw-yellow colour. The nose is intensely perfumed with rose-petal and exotic florals, notes of Turkish Delight, the aromatics with depth and penetration. Medium in sweetness and medium-full bodied, the palate has opulent and exotic flavours in the floral spectrum, with rose-petals and Turkish Delight and subtle notes of musk and honey. The wine is very smooth in texture, the phenolics totally integral, and the acidity providing good freshness and tension. There is some alcohol power, in excellent balance, driving the wine. This has linearity and length. Fruit from the ‘Lovat’ vineyard, fermented with 10% in oak to 13.5% alc. and 20 g/L RS. 19.0-/20 Mar 2017 RRP $47.00
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