I am also enjoying getting to know the staff of Dry River Wines better. Wilco states that it is a team effort to get the wines to where they are, and is very happy for the clients and consumers of Dry River wines to get to know the staff and their roles. www.dryriver.co.nz
This year’s release tasting programme kicked off on Friday 2 March, held at the Wharewaka Function Centre on the Wellington waterfront. On hand were winemaker Wilco Lam, Sarah Bartlett in charge of marketing and communications, and Ethan Pittard on the viticultural team. Dry River has introduced formal tastings focussing on one varietal, showing how it evolves over time. This mail order event looked at the ‘Craighall’ Riesling. This was booked out within one day of notification.
Dark, deep, black-hearted ruby-red colour. This has a firm and intense nose with aromas of ripe black cherries with a complex amalgam of dark herbs, subtle whole cluster notes, black and violet florals and nuances of spices. Medium-full bodied, this has bright and vibrant black cherry and berry fruit with a complexing layer of spices, black olives and herb nuances. The fruit is rich and lush, and underlined by fine-grained powdery tannin extraction and fresh lacy acidity. As the wine flows, the florals blossom and savoury tapenade suggestions emerge. This is already showing complexity. This will develop well over the next 7-9 years. Fruit from the ‘Dry River Estate’, ‘Lovat’ and ‘Craighall’ sites, indigenous yeast fermented with 35% whole clusters to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 15% new 300 L and 350 L hogsheads. 19.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $86.50
Very pale straw colour, near colourless on the rim. The nose is very clean and pure with a core of aromas that unfold with an array of white stonefruits, white florals and lime fruit, unveiling citrus blossom and thirst-quenching minerals. This has real volume, but a positively concentrated heart. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is taut but very soft in texture and refined in mouthfeel, showing lime and lemonade fruit with white florals and hints of minerals and stonefruits. The palate is very smooth flowing with refined and balanced acid piquancy that eventuates to softness. The flavours and presence recede a little on the finish, but linger well. This is a beautifully soft and refined bottling that will develop over 5-6 years. Clean fruit with no botrytis from the ‘Craighall’ vineyard, 50% indigenous yeast fermented in stainless-steel to 11.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS, TA 8.9 g/L and pH 2.9. 19.0-/20 Mar 2018 RRP $47.00
Pale straw-yellow colour, youthfully light. The nose is fresh and very elegant, with tightly bound aromas of pears and white stonefruits, along with exotic white florals and subtle honeysuckle and nutty suggestions. The aromatics are pure and focussed with a minerally edge. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied the palate has a refined richness and fruit sweetness with pears and white florals, and a little honied unctuousness. The fruit makes a positive impactwith its focus and intensity. Very smooth textures and fresh acidity provide good linearity, and the wine carries to a lighter, elegant and slender, moderately sustained finish. This is a fresh and elegant expression with fruit clarity. It will develop over the next 4-5 years. Fruit from the ‘Dry River Estate’ and ‘Craighall’ sites, with 15% botrytised fruit, fully indigenous yeast fermented, 25% in seasoned oak to 12.5% alc. and 17 g/L RS, the barrel portion aged 9 months in oak,, the wine avoiding batonnage. 18.5+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $55.00
Light golden colour with some depth. The nose is full and voluminous, up-front and bold with aromas of exotic tropical fruits and Turkish Delight with honey and orange marmalade, root-ginger, bath salts and an array of perfumes. This is nearly over-the-top and near other-worldly! Medium-dry to medium in taste and fullish bodied, the palate has mouthfilling flavours of tropical fruits, exotic florals, spices and musk, along with honey, marmalade and ginger, intermixed with bath salts. This has fruit richness and plenty of power and drive, with some alcoholic warmth. The unctuous textures are balanced by fine phenolic grip, and the wine carries to a lingering, flavoursome finish. This is an extroverted wine of richness, opulence and power. Drink over the next 4+ years. Fruit from the ‘Lovat’ vineyard, approx. 30% botrytis infected, fully indigenous yeast fermented, 30% in seasoned oak to 13.5% alc. and 17.5 g/L RS, the barrel portion aged 10 months in oak, avoiding batonnage. 19.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $47.00