Roger Parkinson is a lot more relaxed, now that Nga Waka is under new owners. The finances are one factor not on his mind, and he can devote more to the growing and making of finer wine. The 2014 Pinot Noir has a greater 20% whole bunch; it is normally around 10%, this vintage aged 12 months in approx. 22% new oak. Dark, deep ruby-red the nose has a rich core of dark cherry and berry fruit, the whole bunch component positively with subtle herbal complexities. The palate is more slender than bold, showing the vintage, but there is real lusciousness with crisp, refreshing acidity and fine linear tannin structure in support. It’s maybe a little up-front, but this delivers a Pinot Noir reality. 18.5/20 points, Raymond Chan (raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz)
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.