Craggy Range Te Muna 2012 Whites & 2011 Pinot Noir

26-Oct-2012
When Craggy Range planted nearly 100 ha of land on Te Muna Road just out of Martinborough in 2000 and 2001, they made a significant statement in the belief of the uniqueness of the district for special wine. In doing so, they almost instantly joined the exalted ranks of the likes of Ata Rangi, Dry River, Martinborough Vineyard and Palliser Estate, and gave credence to Escarpment Vineyard, Julicher Estate, Te Hera and Pond Paddock who also saw the Te Muna Road sub-region as a viable area for top quality wine. Though windier, 70 m higher, and later ripening than the sites around the Martinborough village, there are the benefits of increased aromatic intensity in the wines from the longer ripening period the area provides.

The Craggy Range ‘Te Muna Road' vineyard covers two terraces stepping down to the Huangarua river. The top terrace, based on stony, silty loam is planted almost all to Pinot Noir. The lower terrace, with sandy loam soils, is devoted to Sauvignon Blanc. Of all the plantings, Pinot Noir accounts for 36%, and is comprised the popular Dijon clones as well as 5 and Abel, close planted, naturally. Sauvignon Blanc accounts for 56%, and Riesling 2%. Chardonnay was also planted accounting for 6% but was taken out, replaced with Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Gruner Veltliner, which first cropped in 2012. Living on-site is viticulturist, Daniel Watson, with Craggy Range for a year now, but with 20 years of experience in the field.

The ‘Te Muna Road' designated wines have become regarded as among the top flight of Martinborough and hold a special place in the Craggy Range single vineyard tiers. The ‘Prestige' Pinot Noir ‘Aroha' is from Te Muna Road fruit. The annual release of the Craggy Range ‘Te Muna Road' range is always a strong one. Here are my reviews of the first 2012 release whites and 2011 Pinot Noir. www.craggyrange.com


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