This is only the second bottling of our Dry River Estate Pinot Noir; the previous was for our 2013 vintage. Exciting! The first Dry River Estate release was partly to celebrate 35 years on the land, but mostly to showcase the foundation of our Martinborough Pinot Noir and the incredible features the 2013 vintage offered. Five years on, we find ourselves with a similar high-calibre vintage; however, this time with tremendous evolution in the approach of our wine growing and winemaking. It is in a way another celebration, this time of the arrival, or acceptance, of a new paradigm of our ideas and practices - be it with foundation techniques established and refined over the last nearly 40 years.
The warm summer and autumn in 2018 allowed us to start harvest early, with the Dry River Pinot Noir picked on 18 March. We principally aimed to maintain fresh and red fruit characters mixed with inherent power and depth. With the previous said, however, this wine seems to be more classic, less controversial and less edgy, but bountiful in its nature. In my opinion, this is somewhat thanks to our choice of oak, and a higher input of new oak for this wine, principally because of its initial presence. Sure, it is more visible on the nose when freshly poured, but it ebbs away to leave behind generous fruit, boysenberry, cassis and cherries. When leaving the wine to breathe for some time mocha, straw, hints of praline, vanilla and even Lilies come out.
The palate is already very complete, spacious and lively, certainly not heavy or thick. Acidity plays an important role in our wines, where it normally confines more to the edges and working itself in towards the centre of the pallet. Now its presence is imminent, with an ability to elevate, enforce and elongate the tannins without aggression. As expected, the fruit is also affected by this acidity, where it helps with the spread and juicy nature of the wine. This peaceful interaction of acid, tannins and fruit eludes to a harmonious and grounding state the wine appears to be in. Be careful, one can be easily fooled by this excitement, this still is a young wine!
Expect this wine to gain further interest for at least another ten years. We have neither fined nor filtered the wine.
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