Margrain Home Block Pinot Noir 2021 (12 Bottles) Martinborough

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The most exciting thing about making wine, particularly Pinot Noir in a region such as ours, is that seasonal differences are so intense that we have literally never made the same wine twice. In the spring of 2018 a cold wet period resulted in a very poor flowing which resulted in an extremely low crop. This bestows a distinct ripening advantage in any year and although the promised El Nino climate pattern failed to develop, some lovely late season heat and beautiful settled harvest weather made picking the ultra-premium fruit a pleasure.

It is an impressive sight indeed, as the deep garnet colour gleams out from beneath freshly blackened eyebrows and pulsates threateningly like the ruby at Melisandre’s throat on a long winter’s night. Long quivering legs climb the inside of the glass like ten Lordes a-leaping on a Waiheke Island beach. The fruit emerges as dark and musky as tiny mushrooms hidden in shady hollows beneath towering podocarps and wafts of sawdust fly as a long-saw rips, followed by notes of flowering thyme, foxgloves in spring and a blend of pumice and swirling bonfire ash. Bursting through this are dancing red berries, brooding over-ripe plum then angostura bitters, crushed black pepper and crusty sourdough bread, toasted a little too long. In the mouth the wine rises tall, dark and handsome with a forelock of sun dried straw dipping lasciviously below one eye. Chewy dried prunes in a heavy syrup dominate the palate as the wine wraps itself around the tongue and encapsulates the taste buds with sadomasochistic intent. Toffee, raisin and sweet strawberry parfait beguile and work to draw one in to the point of no return before dried oregano, cracked leather and tart tamarillo skin take the senses hostage. A stunning tannic structure combines with the crushing weight of the wine to lock on like a lamprey, making any thought of escape impossible. There is a fatness in the tail and once swallowed it tingles and lingers, raining kisses down like a summer shower. This is a wine which is happy to stand alone and threatens to render food superfluous but if you must, try it with a side of pheasant and black currant pâté.



About Margrain Vineyard Wines

The Margrain vineyard, planted in 1992, was born from the passion for fine wine, good food and the country lifestyle held by husband and wife owners Daryl and Graham Margrain. While running a successful Wellington business they were looking for a new focus when they recognised the potential Martinborough held for the establishment of a quality winery, accommodation and conference complex.

They were part of the second wave of wine enthusiasts who came to town to follow on from the success of the pioneer wineries which had established themselves some 10 years previously. Having developed a love for the regions wines, they quickly came to realise the importance of the local climate plus the effects of the now famous Martinborough Terrace soils.

The original 4 hectare property combined perfect location with the essential soil type, – a fine layer of silty loam over deep river gravels which sits on the edge of the terrace overlooking the Huangarua river bed. The site was immediately planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, – a combination of what was already emerging as the regions best styles.

The company then expanded with the purchase of the adjacent vineyard (one of the original 4 in the town). The proximity is perfect, the soil excellent and the site well proven. Extensive replanting to Pinot Noir has been carried out and the remaining original plantings gave welcome access to fruit from 20 years old vines, – a rarity in this young region.

In the winter of 2001 a further block was planted to Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc in an exciting new sub-region 8 km south of town. The site has very similar attributes to the home block, being on the edge of a terrace rising above the Dry River – a small river so named because of its propensity to run beneath its bed in all but the wettest times of year.

Graham’s philosophy in branding the company was a simple one, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth putting your name on.” Our winemaking philosophy is equally straight forward, simply to produce the very best wines we can, without compromise. This task begins each year with pruning and ends only when the wine is in the bottle. Yields of between 1.5 and 2 tonnes per acre are an essential part of this strategy.


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