(2020) Te Muna Road is the address of Craggy Range's property in Martinborough, though since acquiring another large vineyard nearby, some labels will now drop the 'Road' and simply state 'Te Muna'. Julian says this comes from a very humid site which doesn't produce every vintage. It sees eight hours skin contact, and half made in foudre, half in steel. Beautiful pale greenish colour. Clean, dry apple juice and lemon, there's a salty lick of minerals and lemon juice in a sheer style of Riesling where the 9g/l of residual sugar is entirely negated by its acidity. Price and stockist in the UK is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) There is a Marlborough Sauvignon in the portfolio, but here we have a different expression from Craggy Range's Martinbourgh vineyards. Part was fermented in oak puncheons, part in steel. A little touch of creaminess and peach and lemon peel, a little passion fruit, but very little herbaceous character. A huge thrust of limey citrus zest on the palate leaves this mouth-watering in decisive.
(2020) From 45 different sections of vineyards, a lovely perfume here, berries, truffle, a touch of woodsmoke. Sweet fruit on the palate, a little chestnut and briar, then a lip tingling spice. Tight tannins and acidity, a little grippy edge in the finish. Single bottle price given. Ministry of Drinks sells a case of six at £18.99 per bottle at time of review.
(2020) 50% whole bunch pressed, into oak cuves and steel. Aged in barrel, 30% new. Very dark, has an intense violet edge to the blue black fruit. Sweet, supple, savoury and silky in texture, it is fruity and dense, even quite plummy on the palate, but floral edged at all times showing finesse.
(2016) A pinot on the strawberry and cherry-scented, creamy side of the equation, with a nicely smoky, incense-like lift. The palate is juicy with red fruit, but has a stripe of beetrooty, earthy vegatility that adds savoury interest. Pretty well balanced, with of acid and tannin just a tiny bit angular against the sweetness of fruit in the finish.
(2015) >From the excellent Martinborough Vineyards, this Pinot was aged in a mix of 2nd and 3rd-fill barrels and stainless steel tanks. Darker, deeper and much plummier than the excellent Louis Jadot Mâcon Les Roches Rouges also currently on offer, this has earthy beetroot tones as well as cardonom spice. On the palate not quite the fruit depth suggested by the nose, but there is a sappiness and energy, and plenty of acidity, with a layer of berries and chocolate to add complexity.
(2014) Lovely colour, with lightness and elegance and an immediately appealing Pinosity, beetroot and rhubarb notes of earthy sweetness, but also a fine, spiced red fruit. The palate has such delicious sweetness, the cherry and stripe of buoyant, red liquorice freshness and bite, leading on to a balanced citrusy finish with very good acidity and tight, spicy but smooth tannins.
(2014) >From the famous Martinborough property, this is fermented and matured for a short period in a combination of French oak barriques and stainless steel tanks. It has a beautiful nose, with fantastic waxy and apple aromatics, a touch of paraffin and gentle smokiness, but staying tight and very focused. Bone dry, shimmering, wonderfully tight and rounded, tight white fruit: lemon rind and barely-ripe apple. Gorgeous fruit and raciness in the basically dry finish, the 9.5g/l of residual sugar being consumed by the cut and freshness of 9.7g/l of total acidity. 90
(2014) Twenty percent of whole bunches go into the tank here. It has a lovely green bean, streaking freshness, but really delightful bounce and depth, the 15% that was French oak barrel fermented adding richness and pithy lemon rind flavour and texture. Really delicious Sauvignon, and serious with texture, bite and lovely length and balance.
(2014) >From soils of old decomposed rock from ancient, fast-flowing rivers, which Steve says is a unique soil in New Zealand: "The decomposed rocks and clay makes much more mineral available to the vines." Beautiful, pale ruby colour from 12 year old vines, 10% of the fruit whole bunch fermented and spending 11 months in French oak, 27% of which was new. Terrific rhubarb and beetroot character that is fragrant, the aromatic and floral notes seeming to continue onto the palate, where lovely orange acidity punches and steaks through to the finish giving lovely energy and balance. Beautiful smokiness and creaminess from the oak just underpins, in a delightful Pinot.