Dry River: New Zealand Legend
Dry River, as one of the four founding wineries of Martinborough, are something of a New Zealand legend. From the outset over 30 years ago they dared to dry-grow vineyards with microscopic yields in order to produce characterful, concentrated wines built to age. A brave enough concept for a New Zealand winery even now, let alone in 1979 when the first vineyards were planted. Despite their iconic status, the wines are somewhat elusive. The fact that very little is produced together with Dry River's longstanding mailing list of local private individuals, mean that not much of it leaves New Zealand.
Their latest releases span four vintages, one of the main attractions being 2010. There is more in depth information on this vintage below, but broadly it was a cool year of long, gentle ripening that was perfect for producing fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Both wines are notable for their stunning brightness, lithe structures, and low-yield intensity. Bob Campbell MW, New Zealand wine expert and previous contributor to the World of Fine Wine, rates the 2010 Pinot Noir as one of the greatest of recent years. For the full article, click of the link: http://www.bobswinereviews.com/red/nz-martinborough/dry-river/
The wines are currently abroad and will be available for delivery at the end of September.
Dry River on 2010: No frosts and an absence of damage to the new growth in spring 2010 was in welcome contrast to many of the previous years. Benign growing conditions in the early part of the season, excellent weather for flowering and reduced vigour through summer as the soils dried, provided an admirable leadup to harvest. As we approached picking, phenolic ripening (loss of herbal flavours) was slow but conditions were such that we were able to wait and there was no difficulty in picking Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Riesling at their optimum flavours. By mid-April our luck had changed and we were beset by pockets of rain and the risk of botrytis until the weather had dried out once again in May. Holding off picking until the flavours in the remaining crop were exactly right, brought no adverse consequences – largely due to meticulous viticulture and the cold temperatures – so overall we were very happy with all the fruit brought in and look forward to seeing some very interesting wines.