Te Whare Ra Pinot Gris 2019 comes from a vintage that saw a lot of rain in spring which reduced yields. A subsequent warm and dry summer meant smaller berries and bunches; this combination of reduced crop and smaller grapes means that the TWR Pinot Gris 2019 has “great depth of flavour and fleshiness with purity of fruit, bright aromatics and ripe, juicy acidity”. The wine still retains a really classy elegance and subtle aromas and flavours of ripe pears and apples, more stone fruits than tropical with hints of almond. It has quite a luscious mouthfeel which leads to a dry, almost stony, finish with a hint of spice. Winemaker, Anna Flowerday, told me that they wanted to make a more subtle style of Pinot Gris, not one full of tropical fruits as is usual in New Zealand. So they keep the wine longer than usual on the lees and ferment about a third of the wine in used oak barrels (29% for this vintage); both of these give texture and complexity to the wine. The TWR Pinot Gris 2019 is as delicious as ever!
Anna and Jason Flowerday, owners and winemakers of Te Whare Ra in the Renwick sub-region of Marlborough are passionate about aromatic grape varieties and particularly those from Alsace. When they thought about planting Pinot Gris they specifically chose a clone that is low cropping, with small bunches and berries as they felt it would deliver the best quality fruit. And it does. The Flowerdays put as much care into the production of their Pinot Gris as they do for all their other wines using low yields, organic and biodynamic production, hand picking and sorting, gentle pressing and minimal intervention. Like all the TWR wines that I stock including their Pinot Noir, this wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians as no animal-based products are used – read my blog about how some wines might contain animal-derived products.