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I have three bottles left of the gorgeous 2016 vintage - if you order this 2017, I will email to ask if you would like the 2016
Te Whare Ra Winery or TWR is a small, family-run vineyard and winery; grapes from TWR's organic PN vineyard and from two other organic vineyards in the Southern Valley were used in 2017 which is generally considered a stellar vintage. 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,
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
there is minimal intervention and the wines are given sufficient time on lees in the winery to build texture and complexity
These are winemakers who really care about the end product and it shows. And I am not alone in thinking that is top quality wine.
I expect fruit and texture from Marlborough Pinots and this medium-bodied wine is no exception with very evident red cherries and strawberries. But this wine 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 TWR 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. 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.
It is definitely worth decanting or at least swirling this wine in a large glass to give it chance to open up. Read my blog on Decanting. This wine will improve over the next few years but is already an exceptional wine that can be enjoyed now.
Perfect with duck, lamb and pork.
96 Points Cameron Douglas MS
"Complex, pure, varietal, savoury, fruity and mineral. All the boxes ticked for an enticing bouquet. Equally delicious on the palate with flavours dark red berries, preserved cherry, toasty baking spices and a core of minerality. Flavours of old roses and red berries, barrel spice and flinty, leesy qualities. Youthful still and will continue to develop over the next 3 to 5 years (or more). Dry, lengthy, complex and delicious."
96 points/ 5 stars Sam Kim
"Combining splendid ripe fruit notes with charming savoury nuances, it’s beautifully fragrant on the nose showing dark cherry, game, warm mushroom and toasted nut aromas. The gracefully expressed palate displays outstanding concentration and richness with finesse and elegance. Beautifully layered and harmonious with impressive line and length."
An exceptional Marlborough Pinot Noir with red fruits, silky smooth texture and, in addition, elegance. A seriously refined wine loved by many judging by its scores & accolades