Selected for the 2020 Fine Wines of New Zealand List
Under the ownership of the Foley group (Martinborough Vineyards, Vavasour, Mt Difficulty) and with winemaker John Kavanagh (ex-Neudorf) onboard, Te Kairanga have really upped their game in recent years. John Martin is Te Kairanga's top Pinot Noir and crafted from their best vineyard parcels.
Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"The 2018 John Martin Pinot Noir offers an elegant bouquet of ripe fruits, exotic spices and finely seasoned oak. The palate is full and soft.
Under the direction of Chief Winemaker, John Kavanagh, our winemaking philosophy places a premium on the character of the site. The grapes are harvested block by block and vinified individually with punch-downs and gentle pressing to ensure full extraction without sacrificing elegance. Balanced oak treatment without fining or filtration help preserve both varietal character and the inimitable personality of the terroir."
5 Stars & 94/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, September 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"Elegantly composed and expressed, the wine shows spiced cherry, dried herb, clove and toasted nut characters with a hint of dark mushroom complexity. It's gorgeously flowing on the palate, offering silky texture and fine, delicate tannins. Refined and elegant with lovely savoury nuances. At its best: now to 2026."
Reviews for the 2017 vintage below…
DWWA 2019 (2017 Vintage)
"Last year our Best in Show Kiwi Pinot Noir came from Bannockburn in Central Otago; this year the laurels go to the North Island, with this stylish and deftly crafted example from Martinborough. It's a powerfully aromatic wine, with lots of ripe raspberry and mulberry scents lifting from the glass, ballasted by something a little sappier and firmer, almost tarry. On the palate, those raspberry fruits prove deep, long and sustained, rippling with energy from the wine's ripe acidity. The tannins are light, fine and soft: a graceful counterpart to the fruit. Drink 2019-2024."
4 ½ Stars Michael Cooper (2017 Vintage)
"This typically impressive red is based on the 'best vineyard parcels'. The 2017 vintage was matured in French oak barrels (25 per cent new). Deep ruby, it is fresh and vibrant, with very youthful, cherryish, spicy, nutty flavours, showing good complexity. Savoury and supple, it's well worth cellaring to 2021+."