Saturday, August 26, 2006

Best Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy

In anticipation of the new wine list we've done a bit of shopping. As part of that Ive managed to get my hands on six bottles of one of the most expensive pinots outside of Burgundy - Dry River Pinot Noir. Coming from Martinborough on the North Island of New Zealand, Dry River has an excellent reputation for its wines. Headed by Dr Neil McCallum their wines are almost all sold on allocation with about 40% being exported. Top of the range is the Pinot Noir. This is a beastie of a wine - black tea and sticky bun aromas round out with violets and alpine strawberries, with the same flavours on the palate and an undercurrent of red berries and cassis. There's also a sort of roasted cashew nut flavour that comes in and out of focus with fairly firm tannins. Really the 04 should be resting in a cellar somewhere for another few years before being listed, but it will drink well now with a decanting and at least an hour or so to open up.

Im led to believe that only six dozen bottles a year are imported into the UK, so we were very fortunate to lay our hands on six of them. But with the price tag of £115 a bottle, I doubt they will fly off the shelves. But then again if the price of the La Tache is too much for you, then I reckon this would make a reasonable alternative from the new world.

2 comments:

Jules van Cruysen said...

Personally, there are consistantly better (and more affordable) Kiwi pinots than Dry River. This said, the Dry River wines have unchalengable aging potential. I'm off to a Dry River tasting later in the week so check out The Wine Wanker for some notes about thier other wines.

grazza said...

Im sure that there are Jules, but many of them either dont leave the islands, or if they do they are so extortionate that they dont represent value for money. A prime example being Olssen's Slapjack creek pinot, which if you can find it here, retails at over £50.

Nice review by the way, and Im guessing by the tone of the writing, that perhaps you may be adapting your view slightly??