Dry River Pinot Noir 2010 Reassessed
I've been fortunate to see the Dry River wines of Martinborough closely over the past few vintages. Their distinctiveness and individuality make them among my favourites. I know the team try their hardest to craft ripe, elegant wines that build in flavour and harmonious texture with bottle age. The Pinot Noir is a classic in this sense, such that many critics have seen it as atypical of Martinborough. This may be true in the sense that the wine is not like many of the others, but then it has extra finesse and qualities that make it stand above if not apart from the majority of the district. With bottle-age, the Martinborough regionality and terroir emerge.
My recent review and rating of the Dry River Pinot Noir 2010 of 18.0+/20 was not consistent with two other tastings of this wine. I thought that this score was assessing it in the ‘hard light of day', and I detected green aromas and flavours and a harsh, disjointed mouthfeel. I felt I needed to reassess the wine again, as on the two other occasions, I was extremely impressed with its ripeness for the vintage and its fine features. I have reassessed the wine and see a significant difference. The variation may be cork related, but I saw no obvious sign of TCA. The earlier review sits under the current review, the latter and better review I regard as representative of the wine. The 2010 Pinot Noir is part of the annual Autumn Release. Click here to see my reviews of all of the wines in this offering. www.dryriver.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Dry River Martinborough Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 29-Feb-2012Very dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, youthful in appearance. The bouquet is softly full with fine, ethereal, lifted dark violetty perfumes and dark berry fruit aromas along with very subtle herb elements. The ripeness of the fruit for the cool growing season is excellent and the aromatics have beauty. Some oak spices unfold in the glass, adding to the whole berry scents. Medium-bodied and elegant, this has beautifully lush and ripe dark berry and cherry flavours lifted with florals, herbs and oak. This has concentration and proportion, and the tannins are very fine-grained and provide a firm line. The palate has good acid tension and a raciness that offers balance, leading to a long, sustained, sweet fruited and floral finish. Clones 5, 10/5 and some Dijon clones from ‘Dry River Estate' ‘Craighall' and ‘Lovat' sites, 20% whole bunch and fermented to 12.76% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 20% new French oak, around 75% of the barrels in hogshead 300 L and 350 L format. This is a silky and fine-structured Pinot Noir with finesse and succulence. Drink over the next 6-8+ years with duck, pork and moderately flavoured game meat. 19.0/20 Feb 2012 RRP $83.50 Clones 5, 10/5 and some Dijon clones from ‘Dry River Estate' ‘Craighall' and ‘Lovat' sites, 20% whole bunch and fermented to 12.76% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 20% new French oak, around 75% of the barrels in hogshead 300 L and 350 L format. Dark, deepish, purple-hued ruby-red, with youthful purple hues on edge. The nose is fresh and penetrating with aromas of bright, primary, dark cherry and berry fruits with notes of fresh herbs, whole-bunch stalk, and violetty florals. Medium-bodied, this is elegantly presented with bright and youthful fruit flavours of dark red berry fruits infused with savoury herb notes, game and meat nuances with spice and soy sauce elements, still all to come together. The flavours show depth and concentration, with waves of flavour unfolding, and the fresh acidity adding lusciousness to the palate. Fine, supple tannins underline the fruit and carry through to a lengthy, firm finish. This cooler spectrum Pinot Noir has elegance and richness and will integrate and drink well over the next 5-7+ years. 18.0+/20 Feb 2012 RRP $83.50