Selected for the 2019 Fine Wines of New Zealand List
Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"Our Pinot gris vines are amongst the oldest planted at Dry River – the majority was planted in 1979 making them 40 years old. They provide a consistency, depth and character unlike most of our other wines. Still on their own roots, they well fend off droughts and have adapted to ameliorate vintage fluctuations. Here it shows the heavier aromatics to symbolise its deep foundation through vanilla, toffee, dulce de leche and ripe pears. Fresh characters like melon, fennel and honey suckle bring lightness and are likely to reflect fruit from our younger pinot gris block. This wine spent a long time maturing on lees, partly in oak barrels, to bring aromatic complexity in the form orange cake and nougat.
An overwhelming sensation of grace and serenity hit us when tasting this wine for the first time after blending. Comforting and luscious, the gentle nature is like a welcome home wine, if you don’t mind the sweetness of the residual sugar. Its translucent and timid character make it rich and buoyant without the bling factor. The creamy fluffy textural element is that of a groomed gruffness, presumably from the time on lees in barrel, with hints of liquorice root and rock melon.
Our Pinot gris gives drinking pleasure as a young wine, but is rewarding with time in your cellar – preferably five to seven years."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"From the first vintage in 1986, for many years Dry River towered over other New Zealand Pinot Gris, by virtue of its exceptional body, flavour richness and longevity. A sturdy Martinborough wine, it has peachy, spicy characters that can develop great subtlety and richness with maturity (at around five years old for top vintages, which also hold well for a decade). It is grown in the estate and nearby Craighall vineyards, where the majority of the vines are over 25 years old. In the past, it was not wood-aged, but 30 per cent of the 2018 vintage spent 10 months in old oak hogsheads. Bright, light yellow/green, it is fleshy and well-rounded, with mouthfilling body, gentle sweetness (17 grams/litre residual sugar) and rich, peachy, slightly spicy flavours. A soft, very harmonious wine with excellent complexity, it's already delicious."
5 Stars & 96/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, April 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"According to my tasting records this is the first Dry River wine that is sealed with a Diam closure. Pure, luscious ripe pear, apricot, a hint of mango, and a seasoning of spice and ginger. An impressively concentrated wine that reinforces Dry River's status as New Zealand's top pinot gris maker."