However much I (the winemaker) might study, dissect and philosophise about red Burgundy wines, in the final analysis the French have the goal of making great Burgundian Pinot noir, and Dry River pursues the goal of great Martinborough Pinot noir. They are different, and each encapsulates the virtues of its own terroir. What ensures their shared capacity for greatness is the common grape variety, Pinot noir, and the passion of its makers. What ensures the differences between them was created millennia before human cultivation of either region.
This winery continues to focus on what it considers to be key ingredients of great (rather than good) wine - concentration and longevity to enable the delivery of developed complexity. With this in mind, our style pursues concentration without loss of elegance and a firm structure derived from fruit tannins to sustain the wine over a number of years of cellaring. These goals require optimum physiological ripeness, which can be achieved only with great effort and attention to detail in the vineyard. If a comparison was to be made with Burgundy, the concentration and power of our latest vintages are within the range of the bigger-style Burgundies, and with the 1997 vintage comparison could be made with Vosne-Romanèe. But the particular qualities of Martinborough fruit will still make their own statement.
The 97 Pinot noir has the intense colour of our recent Pinots. It has soft, sweet and complex aromas, with hints of nuts and a subtle sappiness from the whole bunch ferment. The flavours are intense but lithe and complex. They are of ripe plums and boysenberries, with a firm underlay of soft-textured fruit tannins to provide good development and tautness of flavour for continuing elegance. These wines are attractive both young, for their exuberance of fruit, and as older wines (up to about 8 years) for their developed flavours. To avoid the youthful tannins dominating the fruit, this should not be drunk too cool as a young wine (try at about 17°C). However, do remember that successful maturation is very dependent on good cellaring conditions (see pamphlet). Magnums are also available.
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