Ohau Woven Stone Pinot Noir Martinborough 2014- $$
A gorgeous colour – bright clear ruby. 13.5% alc.
Showing nice development, with savoury and leafy characters, red cherries, dustiness and fustiness, and spice. Enveloping and engaging.
Sweet at first taste, quickly opens to fine, drying tannins and lean red fruits. Piquant acid, crunchy. Licorice and white pepper flavours. Long, grassy.
Recommended 88 points
From the Cellar: Murdoch James Blue Rock Trafalgar Martinborough 2009 – $$$
L bought this bottle on our first weekend away to the Wairarapa, when we first started going out. We stayed on the first floor of Turley Red, a pub in Greytown, above the karaoke bar, with non-sound-insulated floors. While trying to sleep the first night we heard every song. We were practically in the bar with the singers…It was a GrabOne deal. We look back and laugh about it now.
Anyway, we did a vineyard crawl one day, and ended up at Murdoch James perched above the old river escarpment, east of Martinborough. I recall gorgeous gardens, and a singularly unique approach to winemaking styles, aimed at the Asian market, for Martinborough.
This wine is a blend of noble Sauvignon Blanc, and late harvest Riesling, a ‘sticky’.
13% alc. Golden colour.
Delicious, evolved, and volatile. A sticky in a big bottle. Fantastic aromas of mandarins, honey, and citrus freshness.
Very sweet on attack (natch), with fresh citrus character throughout the mid-palate, and kero energy at the finish. So good!
Highly recommended 92 points
Ata Rangi Celebre Martinborough 2014 – $$$
This is a long-time favourite local red for me. A bright red blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc fruit grown on the Martinborough Terrace, and matured in 20% new oak.
Deep plum purple colour. 13% alc.
Soft, round and opulent on the nose. A savoury character up front, then opens to reveals oak, plums, and spice.
Sweetness on entry, fine-grained tannins in the mid-palate, and fresh acidity on the finish. Fruit flavours are restrained, not as ripe as the ’13, and slightly leafy.
A fine, expressive wine.
Recommended 89 points
Escarpment Riesling Martinborough 2013
This was a generous gift from MM for me being chauffeur at the recent biking weekend. Much appreciated, mate.
Brilliant pale greenish straw colour. 12% alc.
The nose was delightfully aromatic and phenolic, showing lean and crisp acidity, with a layered note of honey.
Natch, the wine was dry/off-dry, lean, and angular to taste as well. Salty, and sharp through the mid palate, with a short crisp mineral finish. I loved the mouthwatering acidity. An arresting wine, cerebral even (if I err into weinwank for a moment…J )
Very enjoyable. I liked seeing the sweetness dialled back in this white.
Highly Recommended – 90 points
The Luminary Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2016 – $$
Simple and uncomplicated, with a calm nose. Very typical of the restrained form of Kiwi savvy hailing from Martinborough. There is freshness and acidity as you would expect, and quality fruit weight . It has presence. But a little boring.
Recommended 88 points
Alexander Dusty Road Pinot Noir Martinborough 2011 – $$
Tawny carmine colour. 13.5 % alc.
A heady bouquet – floral and savoury. Dark red fruits and spice, and a scent of honeysuckle.
Bright acid on the front of the palate. Lashings of vanilla. A touch thin and austere. A metallic edge leading to a bitter and hot and spicy finish. An acceptable pinot for the age and price, redeemed by its nose.
Recommended 86 Points
Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2016 – $$
Greenish pale straw. 13% alc.
Nose of apples and limes, cut grass.
A grainy texture to the lean citrus fruit flavours. Dry. A restrained savvy.
Recommended – 88 points
Grava Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2015 – $$
Whole bunch pressed. Pale greenish straw. 12.5% alc.
Light and lifted, grassy, and finishes with a strong hint of licorice allsort
A smooth Savvy up front, slightly lean to taste, and minerally, with the expected lemon tang. Also evident is the typical lower North Island dialed-back SB acidity, but still is fresh and invigorating. Short.
Recommended – 87 points
Craggy Range Te Muna Road Riesling Martinborough 2014 – $$
Pale gold colour. 11.5% alc.
Steely cut-thru on the nose, crisp and ticklish, with scents of lemon and apple and a bit of clover honey.
Off dry. Austere and linear, with crisp citrus fruit flavours, short and sharp. Young and somewhat one-dimensional, but good for the heat of a summer’s afternoon, something that this season has been in short supply of.
Commended – 84 points
Clos Henri ‘Petit Clos’ Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015 -$23.55 Juicy & approachable, with structure and depth.
Kiritea ‘ Te Hera’ Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 -$21.65 – savoury, peppery & aromatic. A layered, typical Wairarapa style.
Folding Hill Pinot Noir, Bendigo Central Otago 2013 -$28.95 – Elegant, wild thyme notes
Neudorf ‘Tom’s Block’ Pinot Noir Nelson 2014 -$30.25 – A quality quaffer.
Greystone Pinot Noir Waipara 2014 – $33.95 – Hand-harvested from the Omihi Vineyard. Wild yeast ferment with 15% whole bunch to add complexity.
This wine was commented at the tasting as being ‘cerebral’. If you think about anything long enough it becomes cerebral. I thought it had a velvet quality on the nose, with spice, some herbal character, and scents of red roses. So there!
Smooth mouthfeel, with a powerful and dense core of statement fruit. Elegant. It finished hot. No thinness or metallic notes, just deliciousness throughout.
Highly Recommended. 91 Points