Dry River took its simple but evocative name from an historic sheep station that used to exist a few kilometres away on the dry, wandering river plains between Martinborough and lake Wairarapa. Planted by the visionary Neil and Dawn McCallum in 1979 - a good few years ahead of ‘old hand’ Alan Limmer in Gimblett Gravels - Dry River were not only ahead of the curve but can these days speak meaningfully about the old vine presence and impact on the estate’s production. With an approach and culture that feels quite European, Dry River are interested in sustainability and minimal intervention - especially in the winery - but always with a reasoned eye for what is pragmatic and particular to their terroir. Eschewing the Kiwi obsession with varietal flavour-making and wines to drink now, Dry River focus their impressive resources on the simple but complex task of producing and preserving true physiological ripeness, in this way making wines of extreme quality and balance that are often approachable young but reach their true expression after some years in cellar.
What The Critics Say
95/100 Bob Campbell (2015 vintage)
"Intense pinot noir, but rather more elegant than the blockbuster styles I expect from Dry River. Quite tight and youthful with dark berry, Black Doris plum, spice, anise and a generous oak influence. Needs at least a few years in bottle to reveal its true potential." Drink 2016 - 2024
5 Stars Raymond Chan (2015 vintage)
"Very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with slight purple hues on the edge. The nose is finely concentrated and tightly bound with aromas of black cherry and black-berried fruits entwined with black minerals and subtle dark herbs, and delicately complexing whole cluster stalk and stem perfumes. Black and dark red florals and a suggestion of toasty oak emerge with aeration. Medium-full bodied and elegantly presented, sweet and luscious fruit flavours of blackberries and black cherries are the feature and are melded with dark herbs and complexing stalk and stem whole cluster nuances, along with black minerals. The fruit sweetness is enhanced by fresh, lacy acidity, and the mouthfeel supported by refined tannin extraction. The palate is refreshing with the fruit sweetness balanced and driven by acid cut, and the wine carries to a long and sustained, supple-textured finish. This is an elegant and gently sweet Pinot Noir with subtle layers of complexity and fine tannin and acid freshness. Match with wild duck and pork over the next 5-6+ years. Predominantly clones 5 and 10/5 with some 115 and 777. 50% from ‘Craighall Block 6’, 25% Dry River Estate’, 15% ‘Lovat’ and 10% ‘Craighall Block 5’, fermented with under 30% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending up to 17 days on skins and aged 12-13 months in 20% new 300 L and 350 L hogsheads. 18.5/20"
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If for any reason you are not entirely happy with your order or you suspect that they may be affected by a quality issue, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will remedy the problem straight away. Contact us on 0800 422 767.