Cambridge Road Syrah from Martinborough, New Zealand

From a small biodynamically managed vineyard in New Zealand’s Martinborough wine region, we have this, a supremely elegant and drinkable Syrah with the poise of a ripe Pinot Noir and more than a hint of the northern Rhone about it. It’s not cheap, but it’s quite brilliant.

Cambridge Road Syrah 2011 Martinborough, New Zealand
Ripe, smooth, complex [...]

Cambridge Road Pinot Noir 2011 Martinborough, New Zealand

This is a wine I like a lot. It’s from a small 5.5 acre (3 hectare) vineyard on the Martinborough terrace originally planted in 1986, and previously known as the Fraser block. It’s managed biodynamically, and in addition to the Pinots made here, there’s also a lovely Syrah and a delicious Syrah/Pinot Noir blend called [...]

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2011

This was the standout vintage of a recent 10-year vertical tasting of Pinot Noirs from Craggy Range’s Te Muna Road vineyard in Martinborough. It’s not a rich, dense, flashy Pinot, but rather one of refinement and precision. The vines were getting to the stage when they were really beginning to express the vineyard, and not [...]

In Martinborough, with Palliser, Ata Rangi and Craggy Range

Three visits in Martinborough, on a Sunday where I could have been playing cricket. An English touring side with connections to the wine trade were playing a Kiwi side, and I’d been asked. But I’m conscientious, so I denied the English my slow-medium in-duckers in favour of my schedule, only to find that two of [...]

The remarkable viticulture of Dry River, Martinborough, New Zealand

I have just published an extended write-up of a visit to one of New Zealand’s most exciting producers: Dry River, Martinborough. Here, I want to focus on one aspect of what they do – their viticulture, which is remarkable.

The vineyards are immaculate. A split canopy system called Scott Henry is employed, with both upward and [...]

Video: gorging on paua and rock lobster in New Zealand

Here’s a film that should make you feel a little hungry. It’s of a memorable breakfast that I shared with some fellow wine writers (Oz Clarke, Tyson Stelzer and Joe Czerwiniski), consisting of paua and rock lobster, with some very nice Martinborough wines. We were on the Wairarapa coastline, and we were meant to be [...]

Video: two top-notch New Zealand Syrahs

Here I take a look at New Zealand Syrah, tasting two top-notch examples on camera. Will it be the next big thing from Kiwiland? Too soon to say, with less than 300 hectares of Syrah planted in the whole country. But I’m a big fan – I’m excited by the wines that I’ve tried so [...]