Archer McRae 2010 Pinot Noir and 2011 Cabernet Franc
Chris has very strong views in his approach to making wines, wishing to capture the unique attributes and expressions each variety gives and how they interact with the site where they are grown. He calls himself a "gypsy winemaker” taking his specially designed tanks and equipment to the locale of the vines and fruit to make the wines. Three wines have been made so far, a Riesling and Pinot Noir in 2010, both from Martinborough, and a Cabernet Franc from Hawke’s Bay in 2011, from fruit from selected rows from specific single vineyards.
Concurrently Chris created ‘Joiy’ a sparkling Riesling-based wine beverage, this project growing exponentially and becoming nearly totally consuming in terms of time, resource and energy. Nowadays, the making of ‘Joiy’ has become the primary focus of Archer McRae, with the terroir-based wines on hold. Chris intends to resume his Archer McRae wines in the future. Here, I review the two red wines made to date, the Riesling now sold out. Of particular note is the labelling of the wines, featuring the textural artwork of their friend, noted New Zealand artist Lynne Sandri. www.archermcrae.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Archer McRae Martinborough Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 23-Mar-2015Dark, deep ruby-red colour with a good heart, lighter on edge. The bouquet is full and solidly packed with aromas of savoury dark red berry and black fruits melded with minerals, black herbs and the beginnings of complexing secondary development, in dried herb and undergrowth. Fullish bodied, the palate features fulsome flavours of savoury dark red and black berried fruits and integrated layers of dark herbs, earth and minerals. Some resinous, nutty oak elements add interest and detail. This has real weight and mouthfilling presence, the fruit underling by fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction. There is considerable power and drive, with subtle background acidity carrying the wine to an elegantly proportioned, long and lingering savoury finish. This is a stylish, powerful and well-weighted Pinot Noir with savoury black fruits and fine-grained structure. Match with game meat and hard cheeses over the next 6-8 years. Clones 114, 667 and 5 from 15+ y.o. vines from the ‘Stratford’ vineyard, fully destemmed and given a long pre-ferment soak, indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in approx. 25% new French oak. 250 cases made. 18.0/20 Mar 2015 RRP $60.00
Archer McRae Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Franc 2011Cabernet Franc from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 23-Mar-2015Dark ruby-red colour with some garnet hues on rim. This has a voluminous nose of aromatic dark red berry and curranty fruit harmoniously entwined with complex and funky layers of earth and game meat. The nose builds in depth and intensity, becoming elegant in proportion Medium-bodied, fresh, lively and juicy fruit flavours of dark redcurrants and red berries are melded with dried herb, earth and game-like flavours. The funky, meaty flavours are a feature and mouthfilling. The palate is smooth-flowing and harmoniously integrated with fine-grained, silky tannins, along with excellent lacy acid freshness and tension. This has a degree of poise, and the wine leads to a light and dry finish. This is an elegant, fine-textured and lively Cabernet Franc with funky game-like flavours. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked red meat dishes over the next 4+ years. Fruit from the Mills Reef ‘Mere Road’ vineyard, given a long pre-ferment soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine given a long post-ferment maceration, and aged 11 months in approx. 25% new French oak 190 cases made. 16.5+/20 Mar 2015 RRP $40.00