Te Whare Ra Pinot Noir 2017 is produced from grapes in TWR’s organic Pinot Noir vineyard and from two other organic vineyards in the Southern Valley. 2017 is generally considered to be a stellar vintage for Marlborough Pinot Noirs. I expect fruit and texture from Marlborough Pinots and this medium-bodied wine is no exception with very evident red cherries and strawberries. But TWR Pinot Noir has much, much more partly because of the excellent vintage and partly because the soils in TWR’s Pinot Noir vineyards have a higher clay content which gives their wines more depth and structure. This wine is aromatic in a very elegant way, quite Burgundian in style. In the Te Whare Ra Pinot Noir 2017 there is a great mix of complexity, structure and elegance. Multi-dimensional flavours persist in the long finish – red fruits, a touch of mocha, spice like anise and clove and savouriness. As with all TWR wines, this Pinot has been given sufficient time on its lees in the winery to build texture and complexity. The tannins are evident yet fine-grained and, with the refreshing acidity, give the wine its structure; the texture is silky smooth. A seriously refined Pinot Noir which has a lot of fans as you can see from the awards it has won. This wine will improve over the next few years but is already an exceptional wine that can be enjoyed now.
Te Whare Ra Winery or TWR is a small, family-run vineyard and winery. The winemakers, Anna and Jason Flowerday, say that all winemakers are obsessed with Pinot Noir because it is the most challenging variety to grow and it is very unforgiving of mistakes. And you can tell that they themselves are obsessed; for instance, they use at least 8 different clones of Pinot Noir. All grapes are hand-picked and hand sorted. Some native yeasts are used but also some specially selected yeasts. Barrels from different coopers are used for different parcels and there is minimal intervention in the grape-growing and wine-making process. These are winemakers who really care about the end product and it shows in all their wines.