2017 Dry River Lovat Martinborough Syrah

95 Points Richard Caro
In stock
Serious Syrah from Dry River, this is on a par with the best. It is not showy or fruit-driven but more Northern Rhone in style — i.e. aromatic and remarkably light-bodied despite an extended oak aging. A welcome departure from the antipodean idea that Syrah must be grunty to be good, this sophisticated alternative is among the best anywhere. Collect and cellar!
$71.99 in mixed 6+ or $79.99 per bottle



Its Origins

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

"The wine shows primary dark fruits of the forest like boysenberry and black currants interlaced with violets and hints of black pepper. We decided to age the wine on oak for a little longer this time, 24 instead of 18 months. This brought out a certain maturity and subdued vibrancy in the form of dulce de leche, vanilla, nutmeg and allspice on the nose. Another benefit of prolonged barrel ageing is that the tannins are allowed to soften a bit more, which helps the front palate and thus approachability of the wine. As a young wine, the fruit is expressive, almost brash, but respectful to the other components of the wine. Like the acidity, present and linear, not overpowering, the texture is all-encompassing and well proportioned. The wine is neither fined (clarified) nor filtered and might show a light deposit, especially after a few years of ageing. We see a good life ahead for this wine, with an optimal drinkability after approximately six to eight years"

97/100 Cameron Douglas MS (2016 vintage)

"Intense and captivating bouquet of Syrah with aromas of dark raspberry, baked red berry fruits, dark and broody abstracts with smoky toasty oak. The hallmark of freshly ground pepper and meaty earthy qualities completes the aroma package. This is a ‘‘wow’ wine on the palate - complex, focused and detailed. A core of fruit flavours that reflect the nose, abundant acidity, ripe youthful tannins and a complexity that can only come from a carefully managed vineyard. This wine is drinkable today - with or without food. It can also be cellared with confidence for the next five to ten years. "

96/100 Bob Campbell MW (2016 vintage)

"Dense, concentrated yet supple red with floral, violet, black pepper, plum, dark berry and smoky, chocolate, mocha oak flavours. A powerful, age-worthy wine that can be appreciated now but will certainly reward anyone with the patience to hold it for another 5-10 years."

Variety Shiraz / Syrah
Region Martinborough / Wairarapa
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 12.50%
Maturity 2022 - 2032

This Wine Goes Well With

with DUCK
with GAME



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.