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
Winemaker notes on current 2017 vintage
"To achieve ripe flavours, soft tannins with an energetic acidity requires rigid vineyard management and multiple stage picking passes. The early picks of ‘clean’ fruit relied on the above and the maximum amount of sunlight ‘harvested’. The denser and more tropical flavours and aromatics depend on longer vineyard hang time, and therefore will be exposed to higher risk due to the changing weather. The result of the 2017 Riesling is nothing short of stunning, and a testament to the hard work by our vineyard team. White peach, ripe floral notes and mineral freshness show a dynamic between power and restraint. Rose’s Lime cordial, hints of nougat with orange and mandarin flesh and fennel and clove spices, would almost suggest this is Pinot gris. At the same time, it is unmistakably Riesling. A small amount of residual sugar, five grams/litre, offers an appropriate entrance for the tropical fruit like pineapple, and even mango. So much of this wine is texture though. A voluptuous densely packed palate with texture and fruit weight makes a real statement. A friendly acidity salivates and draws the attention to the mid palate. Here, orange and grapefruit rind with citrus fruit dominate their space. The distinct linear acidity builds the palate up to a seamless long finish. Expect this wine to cellar well in a good cellar, best to drink after four to seven years."
95/100 Bob Campbell (2015 vintage)
"Like all Dry River wines, this has concentrated flavours and a rich, mouth-filling texture. Strong citrus, lime zest, apricot, white rose and chalky mineral flavours supported by a thread of lively acidity. Youthful, though approachable Riesling that promises to age well."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2015 vintage)
One of the finest Rieslings in the country, this is typically a wine of exceptional purity, delicacy and depth, with a proven ability to flourish in the cellar for many years. The grapes are sourced from a small block of mature vines, mostly over 20 years old, in the Craighall Vineyard, with yields limited to an average of 6 tonnes per hectare, and the wine is stop-fermented just short of dryness. The 2015 vintage (5*) is full-bodied, with deep, citrusy, peachy, slightly limey and biscuity flavours, that build across the palate to a very harmonious and lasting finish. Not at all austere, it's already very expressive, but well worth cellaring.
We deliver throughout New Zealand and to some locations overseas. Our deliveries are made by trusted third party carriers. For further details on prices and delivery options please go to DELIVERY INFORMATION section of our site.
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.