Margrain Martinborough Rivers Edge Pinot Noir 2017
Despite the fact that in just 200 years, we have burned fossil fuels which were laid down over countless millions of years, I think it is a little narcissistic of humanity to presume we are solely responsible for the current climate shift. However, the temperature increase is undeniable and we must ask what does it mean to wine producers? In the Wairarapa we would generally welcome a little more warmth for growing Pinot Noir to help produce the richer, riper style which we all secretly lust after. But climate change doesn’t only mean warmer years, it seems to throw diversity and extremes; with 2017 being one of the coolest seasons for many years. This has produced a wine with the intriguing tightness and vibrancy we had almost forgotten how to love.
Bright and fiery in the glass, you could read your Grandfathers clock through the hue of this wine. Intriguingly lifted and fragrant, it is demurely fruited with mischievous feral notes leading the charge on the nose. Scratchy snapped viburnum hedge with a damp understory of briar take the imagination on a truffle hunt with the earthy pungency of recently dug tree roots. Fleshy red cherry, cracked hazelnut and a hint of mustard seed give a glimpse of sweetness which is quickly truncated by the ruff flintiness of a well-worn matchbox striker and age blackened iron fire dogs. On the palate though, the wine comes into its own. Not so much pretty as ruggedly handsome, it offers a gritty mouthful in an almost argumentative manner. At first a little stand-offish it comes dancing around offering Old World charm like a pipe-smoking golfer resplendent in chequered plus-fours. Desiccated red-berry fruits and perfumed pecan pie slide effortlessly beneath a rising tide of fine boned tannins giving a carborundum like texture with the subtle power of a Tesla Roadster. Don’t be fooled by the slight naivety, like a cog in a wheel it has structural integrity and a chewy no-nonsense perseverance which will stand the test of time. Enjoy with smoky Hunter Sausage and a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
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