(2021) Quite a full buttercup colour for a Riesling, and plenty of wax and nettle character on the nose, some fat lemony fruit notes beneath. Off-dry on the palate, there's a bit of slippery weight to the texture and plenty of juicy and ripe fruit here, but it is nicely constrained by the acidity. Quite a stony, salty dryness kicks in on the finish.
(2021) Very much in the style of an Alsace blend, this is composed of 67% Gewürztraminer, 22% Riesling and 11% Pinot Gris, and is just off-dry with 6g/l of residual sugar. It is a co-fermented 'field blend', with all of the varieties planted and vinified together. Lovely Gewurz spice leads the way here, then relatively subtle florals and fresh herbs, fruit quite cool but gently exotic, like Asian pear and fresh lychee. In the mouth it is the Gewürztraminer that dominates again, a big surge of grapefruit giving the required sourness and freshness to offset more tropical mid-palate fruitiness. Quite grippy in the finish, some fruit skin firmness to round things off.
(2021) A year older than the Left Field example, and substantially deeper in both colour and aroma. There is some straw and hay-like character here over apricot and pear. In the mouth much more exotic and unctuous than the Left Field, guava and scented, super-ripe Ogen melon, lots of tang and orangey vibrancy to the acidity too. A bit of a show-stopper for the often reserved Albariño.
(2021) What a truly lovely wine this is, perfumed and beautifully elegant, yet with real substance. It opens with such gorgeous aromatics, cranberry and cherry red fruits, but a pot-pourri spice melting into rose-hip and hints of briar. I tasted this wine from barrel and thought it showed huge perfume and promise back in January 2020, but now it is fully realised, the palate so perfectly poised between juicy and elegant fruit and hints of smokiness and forest floor, sweet tannins and finely-etched acidity balancing everything perfectly. Aged for a year in French oak, 30% new, this is a tour-de-force from Riverby.
(2021) From a much more bountiful crop than 2021, where Cloudy Bay green harvested to reduce yields, this made to a similar recipe as the 2021, though with a touch less oak used for fermentation (around 3%). I've had a few chances to taste bottle-aged Cloudy Bay before and it is often impressive, as is this: it doesn't have the succulence and density of the 2021, but has such a lovely, firm lime peel edge, touches of butter and honey developing, and lots of sweet fruit on the mid-palate. It finishes with softer acidity than the 2021 now, but has definition and plenty of appeal. Not available in UK retail at time of review.
(2021) A year when poor weather during the early part of the season resulted in reduced crops, but a fine and warm mid- and late season meant a smaller yeild of very high quality fruit from these Wairau River vineyards. Made primarily in stainless steel, approximately 4% was fermented at warmer temperatures in old French oak barriques and large format oak vats. Quite widely available. A particularly fruity passion fruit and gooseberry opening here, and while there is some elderflower pungency, it sits just behind the punchy fruit. In the mouth there's plenty of fruit sweentess and irresistable nectarine juiciness. It feels like a particularly concentrated vintage of the Sauvignon Blanc, the cool salty and lemony acidity providing good support and thrust. Could well be an example that ages rather well.
(2021) From one of the driest vintages on record in Marlborough, again the recipe is similar to the 2019 with spontaneous fermentation in French oak barrels (8% new), though larger oak vats where not used. It spent 15 months in barrel on fine lees. Gorgeous nose, very white Bordeaux-like, with creamy almond and cashew over pristine white fruits. Again I get a touch of mint or mint humbug on this, but it is now all about that and the fruit, with no real sign of any pyrozene green characters. In the mouth a little toasty though also slightly more vegetal quality is very pleasant among the fresh citrus acidity and little suggestion of exotic fruit.
(2021) From older vineyards and another season where yileds were reduced by cool spring weather. The juice was racked directly to French oak barrels (8% new) and large wooden casks for fermentation initiated by indigenous yeasts. The wine matured in barrel, on fine lees, for 11 months, before transferring to less oxidative vessels to finish ageing: stainless steel, concrete tanks and large format casks. Creamy, lightly nutty, but definitely Marlborough still, with some tropical fruit character, lots of citrus and stone fruits, and really lovely, creamy- to almost minty acid quality that fills the mouth along with the sweet, buttery fruit into the finish. Intense and well-balanced.
(2021) This Pinot comes from the Awatere Valley, furthest south of Marlborough's wine regions, cool and influenced by the ocean more than the vineyards further north. That suits this delicate style of Pinot that for me is more on the rhubarb and beetroot, more vegetal spectrum which is an authentic expression of this variety. Very pale in colour, the fruit is of small red berries - cranberry and reducurrant - with a gentle influence of older oak barrels accentuating some spicy and vanilla components. Gentle tannins and good acidity. It's a wine in the distinctly cool-climate, red-fruited and savoury style. Watch the video for food-matching ideas and more information.
(2021) This Marlborough wine is made by the traditional method, and is 100% Pinot Noir bottled with a dosage of 9.8g/l after 18 months on the lees. It is light and frothy and very much focused on red berries, with strawberry and raspberry, a touch of lemony character adding some edge. In the mouth it is also brightly focused, but the mousse adds some texture and richness before very good acidity offsets the dosage and naturally sweet fruit character into the finish.