Craggy Range is blazing a trail in the New Zealand wine industry, and these two new releases are an excellent opportunity to discover why.
The Pinot hails from Te Muna Road vineyard, seven kilometres from the township of Martinborough, and grown in ancient, stony soils. The fruit is handpicked from the higher terrace of the vineyard. Fermented under indigenous yeasts with using partial whole bunch (around 15%) in a combination of French oak cuves and open-top stainless steel tanks.
15% whole bunches. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. 22% new oak. Pretty easy to see its class. It’s satiny and spicy and doesn’t feel in any way overdone, and yet it still offers more than enough fruit power. Cherry plum with rose petals and dark, chocolatey earth. It rolls and then rumbles through the palate, grainy tannin impressing through the back half; indeed it finishes quite sinewy. Everything in fine order. 94 points, WineFront.
Deep red/purple bright colour. The bouquet is fresh and youthful, straightforward and plain cherry-scented, with a note of chaff. Good intensity of cherry fruit flavour, concentrated but a touch straightforward, and a long-lasting farewell that is warmed by alcohol. Very good. 90 points, The Real Review, huonhooke.com
MartinboroughMartinborough is located on the North Island of New Zealand and is the island’s driest area, due to the rain shadow created by the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges. The district is prone to spring frosts, with wind machines employed throughout the area to protect young vines from frost damage. Martinborough’s climate is cool with some maritime influence and the region enjoys one of the longest growing seasons in New Zealand. There is significant diurnal variation, excellent for preserving aromatics and acidity and the naturally breezy conditions help to curb vine vigour, resulting in low yields of grapes with great intensity and flavor concentration. Over time, the river which runs through the region, has carved out cliffs and escarpments to expose stony sub-soils, helping to create the premium vineyard site of ‘Martinborough Terrace’ built over layers of alluvial river terraces. Martinborough has significant plantings of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling but is best known for producing outstanding Pinot Noir sought the world over.