Margrain Reserve Pinot Noir 2016 (12 Bottles) Martinborough

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In the orb of dark plummy colour; I see fire! While the days of assigning a gender to wine may be over, let’s just say this one gives the distinct impression of muscularity and as its breath rises hotly from the glass, a sense of strength and surety is imbued. Dried bracken fern, musky damp straw and the well-oiled gun metal in the fixed grip of a tin soldier give rise to this initial impression, followed from beneath by dried cranberry, classic dark cherry, roast kumara and the heady aroma of chopped Brazil nuts. There is devilment afoot as the rasp of a cut-throat razor is dragged across a leather strop releasing bay rum and rich chewing tobacco notes. Fine merino wool and dry talc add a mineral element and leave the senses craving what must surely follow.

The palate does not fail to deliver, offering black velvet in that slow southern style and layer upon layer of flavour that causes the cheeks to bulge. Peachy one minute and composed the next, it rolls around the tongue like a beached elephant seal. Fleshy berry fruits in 50 shades of black; furry suede split-leather and intriguing damp botanicals give a palpably languid sensuality that throbs like a Harley. Evening primrose, fresh brioche and white truffle run as smooth as a fleece across a well-worn shearing board, while black leaf tea, a chalky coal dust mouthfeel and a fine lick of French oak lend a gritty back-bencher tone of superiority. This is a pugilistic wine, full of hooks and barbs and given the way it opened up like a can of worms following 2 days in the part-full bottle, it’s bound to be in this for the long haul.



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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