Wines of Wairau River, Marlborough

These tasting notes accompany our feature on Marlborough as part of our New Zealand 2020 series


(2020) Classic waxy green bean with a touch of flint and plenty of elderflower, but moderated, with a thrust of lemony acidity against the passion fruit and gooseberry. Very good quality.
(2020) From a single vineyard, "with a unique soil profile," says Nick, "with saltiness from the tidal river." Much more subtly aromatic, with Star fruit and melon rind, a lovely texture. Some richness, and a generous acid quality. Great balance and length. Price and stockist for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) From a vineyard planted in the 1980s. Very nice melon and stone fruit notes, a lovey full texture, clear apple and pear juice flavours, crackling lemon zest and sour, pithy grapefruit acid quality.
(2020) Basket pressed, this offers lots of clean, fresh, orchard fruit and stone fruits, and has the salty touch of minerality that gives complexity and freshness. No UK stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) Fermented in a mix of steel tanks and old barrels, malolactic fermentation was blocked as Nick believes it interferes with the aromatics too much. Stone fruits and yeasty too, a subtle but cool, dry and flavoursome style.
(2020) Fabulous sherbetty nose, floral and clean, but with that shining brightness and vivacity, it is indeed perfectly summery. Great fun, and off-dry teetering on medium-sweet with its 33g/l of sugar. No UK stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) Off-dry with 12g/l residual sugar, I can see whay this won the trophy for Gewurztraminer at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. Proper Gewurztraminer, light lychee and old roses character, plenty of fruit and a hint of Turkish delight. Has the same full Gewurz traits on the palate too, with touch of oiliness to the texture, all the flavour and then a fine acid line.

Red and Rosé Wines

(2020) No skin contact for this, just the juice from the press makeing the colour, 100% Pinot from wide planted-rows, with sweet rose, cherry and raspberry. Lovely crushed cranberry character. No UK stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) This spend 10 months in French oak barriques, around 23% new. The majority went through spontaneous fermentation. Pretty colour, cherry pits and pomegrante on the nose, and equally pretty fruit, tight and fine tannins and cool acidity. A Lovely, elegant and approachable style.
(2020) Spends a but longer in oak, different coopers, a vineyard selection. Small percentage of whole bunch.A little bit of chestnut and briar here, adding that element of Vegetal, beetroot to the sweet fruit. A very nice Pinot with the savoury character. Price and stockist are for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) This wine spends up to 20 months in 228 litre French oak, and comes from a mixture of Syrah clones including the Chave clone. Fully ripe with a lovely lift, violet and kirsch, and graphite. Sweet, solid black fruit. Chocolate and spices, then a bit of slatey character adds a graphite firmness and edge to the chocolate and ripeness of mouthfilling blackcurrant. No UK stockists listed at time of review.

Back to Wairau River profile in our feature on Marlborough

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *