Dry River 2016 Autumn Releases

Here are my reviews of the wines comprising the Dry River 2016 Autumn Releases which will be released next month. Having followed the Dry River wines for many years, and paying particular attention to them over the period of change of ownership from Dr Neil and Dawn McCallum to the present stewardship of winemaker Wilco Lam, I can state that the transition has gone extremely smoothly, particularly in terms of wine style. This is to be expected, as Wilco, with the consultancy of Ant Mackenzie have continued the viticultural and winemaking practices and standards as established by the McCallums and maintained by Poppy and Shayne Hammond until the present management.

The wines continue to show the work in attaining flavour and phenolic ripeness, whilst retaining modest alcohols, elegance of style, purity of fruit and detailed and finesse of texture. This is not to say that Wilco and Ant will not implement changes in time to develop the wines incorporating advances learned from contemporary trials and experimentation; and indeed, there have already been some exciting innovations.

As with all fine wines that reflect their origins, they also show the character of growing season and vintage. These releases show the 2015 white and 2014 red vintages in their resultant style. In 2015, vineyard stress has provided more savoury, nutty, phenolic and complex wines, rather than wines of "opulence and buoyancy”. 2014 also had its challenges to attain balance, and the tendency for higher yields required attention. As a result, the 2014 reds do not have the richness of the previous vintage, but they have a refreshing and sinewy charm to them which will provide much interest and satisfaction. www.dryriver.co.nz


  • Dry River ‘Craighall’ Martinborough Riesling 2015
  • Dry River Martinborough Pinot Gris 2015
  • Dry River ‘Lovat’ Martinborough Gewurztraminer 2015
  • Dry River Martinborough Pinot Noir 2014

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