The fruit went into the ground with the Pinot Noir at the start, only one hectare planted at the time. Hätsch Kalberer (winemaker) was actually the second person in New Zealand’s modern winemaking history to make Syrah (after Stonecroft) and was keen on seeing how the marginal variety would grow in Marlborough. There’s four percent co-fermented viognier in the mix here. Warm spice aromas with redcurrants, touch of briar, touch of animale and a gentle earthy tone. Richness and light, pretty attractive way to dive into the wine. More red fruit to taste with effortless, medium bodied, spicy glide of fruit. Crunchy acidity and very light, fine tannins for definition. Pure and driven, great energy and faint graphite-like mineral vein for interest. Delicious and easy. Drink to 2026. 91 points, The Wine Front (10/2013).
MarlboroughArguably New Zealand’s most famous wine region owing to international demand for Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough is also the largest wine producing region in the country, comprising 79% of New Zealand’s total wine production. Modern winemaking commenced in Marlborough in the 1970s and from tiny beginnings, the vineyard area has rapidly expanded now encompassing 23,600 hectares. Marlborough is located on the east coast of the South Island, with mountains to the west creating a rain shadow, making it one of the driest and sunniest regions in New Zealand. There are three sub regions in Marlborough, the largest being the Wairau Valley, where most plantings are concentrated on free draining alluvial soils. Viticulture has also spread to the cooler Awatere Valley, also on free draining stony loams and vineyards are also situated in the cooler southern valleys with its silt, gravel and clay soils. The soils across all three regions all have relatively low fertility to help curb the vigour of Sauvignon Blanc vines that dominate Marlborough. Although the region built its reputation on crisp, distinctively pungent unoaked Sauvignon Blanc, there is an increasing trend towards more complex barrel-ferment styles. Light-bodied, fruit driven Pinot Noir is also successful.