William Grace Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013

William Grace is the Martinborough micro wine venture of Mark St Clair and Debbie Bowie who have an extreme vineyard at the ‘Waihinga Gardens’ property on New York Street. Being a burgundy wine enthusiast, Mark has adopted the techniques in making the best wines. In 2009, they planted their 0.1 ha to 1,000 vines, 75% to Abel clone and 25% to clone 115, this being a density of 10,000 vines per hectare. The vineyard is managed to organic and biodynamic regimes and the viticulture is aimed at low yields with one bunch per shoot and no irrigation. The wine is made at the Martinborough Vineyard facility with Paul Mason overseeing the winemaking. In May of 2013 I visited William Grace and made a report (click here to see), and in September last year, I reviewed the inaugural release from the 2012 vintage (click here for the review).

Being a very small enterprise, the William Grace wine is subject to the vagaries of agriculture and vintage variation, more so than a larger operation, and small batch winemaking must be undertaken with great care. So the wine will no doubt show greater range of character due to what are deemed relatively minor influences by other winegrowers. No doubt as the vineyard grows in maturity, there will be a much more consistent behaviour. Mark reports that 2013 was a vintage where yields were affected from the poor flowering and fruit set from the high winds, though the growing conditions were warmer than 2012. 2014 saw a return to the predicted cropping (still very low), but 2015 again has given a small harvest, with the clone 115 fruit particularly affected.

I’ve already had a preview of the 2013 William Grace Pinot Noir at a tasting of new vintage samples of Wairarapa Pinot Noirs in October last year (click here to see my report). Here is my ‘Feature Review’ of the wine. www.williamgrace.co.nz


  • William Grace Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013

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