The release of the new vintage of any wine is a nerve-racking time. With Pinot Noir being the raison d'être of life at Margrain, there is more than a bit riding in this event each year. With white wines from the vintage having mostly sold out, the Pinot tends to be the yardstick used to judge a given wineries performance in a given year. There is a lot riding on it! With the previous (2015) season having been a quintessential Martinborough Pinot vintage, this has left big boots to fill. Crop sizes were more generous in 2016 so it was gratifying that the weather came to the party and following a warm summer we experienced the most settled harvest conditions in many years, making picking decisions a breeze. Initial indications give us cause for great optimism!
In the glass the wine shows deep garnet tenor and shimmers like hot lava running before the sea. The nose brims clear with star studded fruit yet is overlayed with an earth derived complexity. Initial impressions of warm berry compote with a touch of custard are rivalled by roasted kumara, pumpkin pie with cracked sesame seed then dried black current and sweet caramel corn. Growing and glowing over time, it releases musky winter violet florals, coarsely grated nutmeg and curly chiselled wood slivers while tarry liquorice twist and fine split suede leather lend a touch of burlesque drama.
Big, brooding and musky the wine wells up in the mouth and foams over with a steaming, streaming nihilistic propensity as racy tannins lasso the tongue and threaten to hold it to ransom. Big, bad and bootylicious it displays vivid red fruits, ground baby spice and fresh tobacco leaf which delivers a backhand so close to the line as to be questionable. The texture is as fine as warm foie gras and combines with the soft acidity to give all the appeal of a Sunday morning lie in. There is a spirited vortex around the cheeks which makes the taste buds swoon and calls into question the Lab reported 13% alcohol. Some 8 months out from bottling, it is starting to shake off the awkward trappings of youth and delight the senses like a born again Sandra Dee.
Harvest date: 23 Mar and 6 Apr 2016 Residual Sugar: Nil
Brix at Harvest: 22.3 – 24.1 Bottling Date: 14 Dec 2017
Final Alcohol: 13.1% Release Date: 1 August 2018
pH: 3.36 Cellaring: 2 to 9 years
Total Acidity: 5.47 g/l
And Bob Campbell says
"Flavoursome pinot noir with raspberry, red-fleshed plum and blackberry flavours, together with a suggestion of fresh herb. This lively, high energy wine with obvious potential can be enjoyed now or in a few years when the texture will have softened and the flavours become more complex." 94/100