Murdoch James 2010 Cabernet Franc and 2011 Syrah


There's plenty of energy along Dry River Road south of the Martinborough township as Murdoch James seems buzzing in all aspects. With investment from Wellington property developer Charles Zhang purchasing a majority shareholding in the vineyard and winery last year, extra plantings, new equipment and revitalised cellar door and restaurant facilities have signalled a period of growth and confidence. Roger Fraser is as busy as ever managing the operation with his son Carl in charge of the winemaking. Carl's wife Nicola heads sales and marketing, so Murdoch James remains a family-run business. Pinot Noir is the Martinborough district's forte, but Murdoch James works with Cabernet Franc, harking back to the original plantings, the variety highly desirable in export markets, especially China, and also making an increasing amount of Syrah, growing in popularity globally. Here are my reviews of the new releases of these two reds. www.murdochjames.co.nz

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