5 Stars Bob Campbell MW
97 Points
5 Stars Michael Cooper
5 Stars Raymond Chan
5 Stars Sam Kim

95/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

“Gee this is very good… Superb. A wine of charisma, integrity and intrigue. Hard not to fall in love with it.”

  • Closure: Cork
  • Unit: Each
  • Volume: 750ml
  • Alcohol: 13.0%
  • Grape: 100% Pinot Noir

$105.99 $94.99 elsewhere $105.99

Regions : Wellington Wine Country

95/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

“Gee this is very good… Superb. A wine of charisma, integrity and intrigue. Hard not to fall in love with it.”

In stock


Winery notes (2015 Vintage)
"For us at Dry River, blending of our Pinot noir is a relatively straightforward event. We produce no second tier label, all our barrels are destined for one wine: Dry River Martinborough Pinot noir. This certainly brings pressure to the winegrowing and making, balanced with a good dose of excitement. Our anticipation culminates when the wine is racked from barrel to tank and prepared for the final blend!

Crimson red with a fluorescent purple rim, as we often see in a young Dry River Pinot noir. The fragrant nose reveals cherry blossoms and violets, where blackcurrant and raspberry are indicative of the youthful character of the wine. Lightly spiced, with crushed dried leaves and perhaps some lifted cardamom pod bring welcome nuances to the aromatics. Chocolate hazelnut praline compliments the ripe fruit and pays tribute to the French oak maturation.

The low yields and extended water stress in mid-season allowed for high sunlight exposure with a low amount of leaf numbers. This retards sugar accumulation and potential alcohol, where tannin formation and ripening are enhanced. Considering the low cropping level, contrary to expectation, the fruit versus tannin ratio is well balanced and without excess. Elegant, chalky tannins are dispersed over the palate, stretching the wine broad. They are matched with dense and concentrated fruit mainly visible on the middle of the palate. The retention of whole-berry clusters in the fermentation process is to bring ‘freshness’ of fruit to compliment the ripe plum, cassia bark and familiar Christmas spice flavours. To finish, the longevity of the palate is achieved with finely textured oak tannins in combination with a soft and suppressed acidity that lies underneath, acting as a lace to tie the wine together. We expect this wine to evolve for five to seven years to reach optimal maturity."

5 Stars & 19.5-/20 Raymond Chan, March 2017 (2015 Vintage)
"Dark ruby-red colour with good depth. The nose has well-ripened dark-red and black berried fruits with nuances of dark red plums, unfolding an array of dark-red floral perfumes, and hints of dark herbs. A minerally edge is apparent to balance the fruit richness. Lovely detailing. Medium-full bodied, the palate features rich, sweet and plush fruit flavours of dark-red berry fruit and black cherries, along with notes of plums and liquorice. Some dark herb and floral lift provides elegance. The mouthfeel shows very fine-grained tannin extraction and excellent acid freshness and tension. The wine flows along a velvety line, carrying to a long, sustained, sweet fruited, bright finish with acid freshness. This is richer and more complete since last tasting. Fruit from the ‘Dry River Estate’, ‘Lovat’ and ‘Craighall’ sites, fermented with 30% whole clusters to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 15% new 300 L and 350 L hogsheads."

5 Stars Michael Cooper (2015 Vintage)
"Dark and densely flavoured, this Martinborough red ranks among New Zealand's greatest Pinot Noirs. It is grown in three company-owned vineyards – Dry River Estate, Craighall and Lovat – on the Martinborough Terrace, and most of the vines are over 20 years old. Matured for a year in French oak hogsheads (20–30 per cent new), it is a slower-developing wine than other New Zealand Pinot Noirs, but matures superbly. Revealing great density, the deeply coloured 2015 vintage is mouthfilling, with highly concentrated, plummy, gently spicy flavours, well-integrated oak (20 per cent new), and fine-grained tannins. Almost super-charged with flavour, it should flourish for a decade; open 2019+."

5 Stars & 97/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, April 2017 (2015 Vintage)
"This exceptional pinot exhibits dark cherry, plum, violet, raspberry coulis and almond characters with nuances of game, vanilla and black olives on the nose. The palate is superbly concentrated and richly fruited, while remaining impeccably poised and structured, and delivers layers of silky texture and delectable flavours. Built for the long haul, the wine offers plenty of youthful charm and promise. At its best: 2019 to 2029."

96/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, November 2017 (2015 Vintage)
"Gee this is very good. It’s dense, throaty and deep in tannin and flavour, but not heavy or clumsy. Dark cherry, layered with sweet spice and dried herb, an almost ferrous thing going on, which you could call ‘minerally’, if you’d like, rich grainy tannin, cool blood orange acidity, and a very long finish, spiced and pimped up with a delicious Chinotto bitterness. Superb. A wine of charisma, integrity and intrigue. Hard not to fall in love with it."

5 Stars & 95/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review (2015 Vintage)
"Intense pinot noir, but rather more elegant than the blockbuster styles I expect from Dry River. Quite tight and youthful with dark berry, Black Doris plum, spice, anise and a generous oak influence. Needs at least a few years in bottle to reveal its true potential. Drink 2016 – 2024"

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