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Neil McCallum is one of the Martinborough wine region pioneers planting his vineyards on the free-draining gravelly terrace in the Wairarapa in 1979. Dry River quickly established a reputation as one of the finest producers in the country producing Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Noir. McCallum retired in 2011 and the winemaking duties have been taken over by Wilco Lamb with Robert Willis and his team tending the vines. The vision of Neil McCallum is in good hands and Dry River continues to be one of New Zealand's most sought after wines.

A darker straw appearance. It is on the nose where the vintage shows its true colours. With coconut flesh, caramelized orange rind, scented vanilla and Amaretto, the wine delivers an unusual introduction where fruit opulence is in minor. These seductive characters persist with Grand Marnier, crepes Suzette and flambéed orange juice. This certainly is a wine with many discussion points.

Again a drier palate in terms of residual sugar at 20 g/L with a moderate alcohol level of 13.5%, this makes for a complex and textural Gewurztraminer. The varietal expression shyly comes through on the palate with concentrated and condensed tannins. Ginger, Amaretto and caramelized cane sugar are the predominant characteristics. More intricate are the higher aromatics like lychee and zest of orange & mandarin. Fenugreek and cardamom spice make for a firm and complex finish, with the acidity ever so minimal in order to retain the focus on the aromatic profile. Looking back in our cellar, Gewurztraminer is not to be underestimated in its capacity to evolve for three to seven years, possibly longer in a good cellar.

This is a truly gorgeous Gewurztraminer with wonderful concentration and peacock’s tail-like display of subtle flavours on its incredibly lengthy finish. It’s a heady mix of floral, spice and exotic fruit characters which promises to get even more exciting with bottle age. This wine supports my long-held belief Gewurztraminer is Dry River’s most outstanding wine. Wine of the WEEK; Ranked #1 Gewürztraminer from NZ; Rating: 98 Points Bob Campbell; Master of Wine


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