Spring Release 20122012
2012 was the coolest growing season since 2004 and approximately 15% cooler than the long term average. Frost was not an issue this year. These cooler conditions produced relatively large canopies, partly as a result of the small crop, which required the team to increase our leaf plucking and canopy management regime to ensure good airflow and exposure of the fruit and leaves. As with all cooler seasons, patience and vigilance became the story of the vintage. Our low cropping mature vines ensured all grapes were harvested with optimal phenolic and flavour ripeness. The harvest season by-passed March and kicked into action early in April. The first blocks picked (7th April) were Pinot noir and Chardonnay. A number of rain events through the vintage period had us bide our time while the soils dried out and to allow the phenolic ripening process to continue. A small parcel of Riesling was left on the vine to develop botrytis for a Bunch Selection Riesling. The last fruit came into the winery in May, three weeks later than what we would have expected in a more usual year..
- 2012 'Craighall' Riesling
Our Riesling has optimised the low sunshine hours and cooler tem- peratures this year to achieve wonderful ripeness, body and aroma. Maximum exposure to sunlight means low potential for Botrytis so the fruit for this wine was picked in pristine condition.
With a pale straw colour the wine showcases a remarkable opulence of ripe fruit flavours. Honeydew melon, clover honey and lovely floral blossoms are followed by mandarin peel and spice such as cardamom, fennel and lemongrass. The wine is soft at the entrance but a full and dense palate unveils the beautiful fruit ripeness with rock melon and Buerre Bosc pear. Mouth-watering citrus fruit and chalk-like characters tie this wine together which results in a long and taut finish. Riesling from cooler vintages (like 2012) can benefit from extended time in the cellar.
- 2012 Viognier
The cooler 2012 vintage has suited the Dry River style of Viognier. The weather provided perfect flavour ripeness at lower sugar levels resulting in an opportunity to produce a dry style with an harmoni- ous alcohol level.
On first appearance the wine reveals a light golden colour and a bril- liant sparkle. The long and extended autumn is reflected in characters of dried apricot, elderflower and hints of lychee. Cherry blossom and harakeke flower form a complex and ethereal aroma. In the mouth the low residual sugar thrusts towards a powerful and dense palate with considerable weight derived from intense fruit concentration. A seamless mouth feel and transparent fruit give this wine an interesting landscape in which to discover an array of stone and citrus fruits. Viognier is often enjoyed as a young wine but in our experience Dry River Viognier can also deliver extra pleasure with careful cellaring.
- 2011 Chardonnay
The Dry River Chardonnay is a blend of two vineyard blocks that display individual and distinct characteristics. Both wines are grown at the Dry River and Craighall blocks and are the Mendoza clone. The small berry size and low cropping nature of the Dry River block results in a majestic wine that does not overpower, but rather exerts a humble restraint especially in its youth. The Chardonnay grown at Craighall vineyard produces a wine laced with finesse and fresh acidity. When blended together balance, graciousness and minerality are key features.
The colour is pale and golden with a brilliant shine. On the nose floral and citrus notes appear to dominate with cinnamon quills, rye bread, and honeydew melon providing support and interest. The entrance of the wine is initially gentle and lean with tantalising acidity which bal- ances this weight and power. This Chardonnay shows a linearity that is expressed in terms of crisp Granny Smith apples supported by the opulence of white peach and ground almonds. Chardonnay made in this restrained style will definitely evolve in the cellar.
- 2011 Bunch Selection 'Lovat' Gewurztraminer
The combination of a warmer season and a higher than average rainfall in 2011 enabled us to hold the fruit on the vine and encourage the development of flavour-concentrating Botrytis cinerea. This small amount of wine was harvested at around 29° brix and subsequently processed with extraordinary care.
The extended maturation and shrivelling of the fruit on the vine bless this wine with a dark golden shine and intensely luscious aromas of mandarin and orange peel with lychee and honeydew. A powerful sug- gestion of canned apricots and/or pears offers a concentration of fruit expression only seen in this style of wine. Lemon verbena and crystalized ginger also offer the palate a sense of freshness, balance and length. It is hard to look past this glorious opulence now but I would suggest holding some stocks in the cellar for future evaluation.
- 2010 ‘Lovat’ Syrah
Dark ruby with a violet hue. Fresh walnut, marmite and toasty oak overlay an array of red and dark berry notes. Black currant and an ever so slight hint of white pepper dart around on the nose with notes of tar and fresh leather contributing to extra aromatic complexity. Thanks to low cropping levels the palate is dense and weighty, yet soft and buoy- ant. Upfront flavours of dark fruit are followed by fresh tobacco and Christmas cake spice. The structure grows in strength with well-knitted tannins and considerable length. This is an intricate wine with upfront primary fruit aromas that will develop savoury complexity and gain richness over the next five to seven years.
- 2008 ‘Lovat’ Syrah magnum
The excellent 2007 spring, a record-breaking drought the following summer and reliable autumn conditions favoured the phenolic ripe- ness of the 2008 Syrah. After a number of years of slow maturation, we believe now is an excellent time to release the 2008 Syrah magnums.
A wine that is dark cherry edged with a purple hue. A familiar display of violets and white pepper are combined with eucalypt and star anise characters. True to its regional character, this wine exhibits dark plums, frankincense, juniper and clove spice, underpinned by polished leather and transparent well-integrated oak. A soft and elegant entrance, where tannins start off fine and seamless yet gripping and talc-like, building like a spider’s web pulling the wine back together as the wine unfolds on the palate. Beneath this maze of intricate structure, fresh blueber- ries and blackcurrants contribute to the cool climate character. This wine is still youthful and exuberant thanks to the slow ageing capacity of magnum bottles. It will continue to mature at a moderate rate in a good cellar so there is no hurry to pull the cork.
- 2011 Pinot noir en primeur
Your payment for this limited offer will be processed by mid November – for dispatch before the end of November. Please note on the order form if you are likely to be away during this period. You will be advised by mail at the time when the wine has been sent.
The deep red colour of our 2011 Pinot noir is both promising and exciting in its appearance. An inviting and rather deep nose with toffee, black tea, Christmas lilies and dark berry fruit is a preamble for the complex wine to follow. A supple and velvety entrance gives way to ripe fruit such as cassis and cherries. Salivating acidity, transparent and soft leather-like tannins combined with cassia bark and Brazil nut characters show great depth and potential for longevity. This is still a very closed and youthful wine which we expect will show great stamina in the cellar.
- 2012 Autumn Spring
- 2013 Autumn Spring
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- 2007 Autumn Spring
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- 2004 Autumn Spring
- 2003 Autumn Spring
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- 1995 Autumn Spring