2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough (Elsewhere $40+)

SKU #1160916 95 points Sam Kim

 A hugely promising pinot, it's finely scented and impressively complex showing notes of dark cherry and game, with a touch of dried herb, elegantly dressed by spicy oak. The palate is concentrated and refined with poise and harmony, leading to an extremely long, delicately dry finish. The wine is multi-dimensional and complex but hasn't lost the varietal purity, indicating the wine will evolve gracefully to show even greater depth and breath. Grapes were grown on Te Whare Ra vineyard in Renwick and Rawiri in Omaka. At its best: 2016 to 2023.

94 points James Suckling

 This is a super attractive Pinot Noir and 2013 looks to be a terrific vintage for Te Whare Ra. Plenty of bright perfume notes, musk and spices, some leafy bracken and dark cherries, too. The palate has a very supple style to it, nicely polished tannins deliver bright cherry and red plum flavors, and there's brilliant balance and energy. Drink in 2017.  (3/2015)

93 points Raymond Chan

 Even ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter edged. The nose is elegantly proportioned with finely expressed, tightly bound aromas of dark raspberries and black cherries, unveiling layers of red florals and whole berry fermentation fruit pastilles infused with of dark herbs and nuances of oak. Medium-bodied and elegantly presented, this has a tight core of dark raspberry and cherry fruit along with subtle whole berry fermentation floral and confectionary elements, and a hint of liquorice. The tannins are refined and satin-like, flowing very smoothly, carrying through to a very long, concentrated and fine-textured finish with red berry and floral notes. This is an elegant Pinot Noir with lifted fruit and a very refined, concentrated palate. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 6-8+ years. Pinot Noir clones 113, 114, 115, 667, 777, 10/5, Abel and 5 from the ‘TWR’ and Eatwell’s ‘Rawiri’ vineyard in the Omaka Valley, hand-picked and sorted, destemmed, given a cold soak and fermented with whole berries, a small portion by indigenous yeasts to 13.6% alc., the wine spending 17 days on skins and aged 12 months in 30% new French oak. 750 cases made.  (11/2014)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2013 Te Whare Ra has a really earthy nose laced with forest floor, fungi and moss notes over red berry and red flower characters. Light to medium-bodied and quite subtle but impactful in the mouth, the delicate earth and red berry flavors hold through a long finish. (LPB)  (12/2014)

K&L Notes

Benchmark New Zealand Pinot Noir, amazingly pure and silky, showing the very best of what the country has to offer. The 2013 was a "vintage of a lifetime" in NZ and TWR's Pinot Noir shows exactly why. Hand-selected from two single blocks; one on the deep alluvial gravel soils of Renwick, and one from a steep north facing slope in the Omaka Valley famous for its heavier clay soils. The Renwick component gives detail, layers of intrigue and precision, while the Omaka fruit has added power and generosity. TWR's 2013 Pinot has a slightly more masculine, darker edge to the fruit and broader, richer, silky mid-palate texture. All the fruit was hand-picked, hand-sorted and then re-sorted by the individual berry! The ferments are done in tiny one ton open top tanks and are hand plunged. This is all about absolute quality and minute attention to detail and it really shows in the wine. Raymond Chan "Winery of the Year 2014!

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Product Reviews:

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By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/28/2015 | Send Email
Another well done NZ Pinot Noir from our friends at TWR. Crimson red to purplish in color, with just the right amount of acidity and tannins. Great forward-facing fruit from raspberries to cherry. It ends with excellent follow-through all the way down the palate. At under $30, what's not to love? If you have never enjoyed a Pinot from New Zealand, this would be the perfect one to try.
Drink from 2015 to 2019

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/21/2015 | Send Email
Pure, elegant, focused, silky, layered and exotic. The descriptors could go on and on but all you need to do is buy a bottle (or case) and see for yourself. Next level quality from TWR; one of the best NZ Pinots I have tasted, period.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/11/2015 | Send Email
I could spend an entire evening dissecting this fascinating Pinot. The beautiful garnet color is the first thing to draw you into the glass. The nose holds a fresh herbaceous note, almost mint-like that persists yet seems to hide a layer of dark cherries or perhaps raisins. The body of the wine carries weight, but it is supple, smooth, and long. The cherries come through much more on the palate than on the nose. Somewhere in the middle a spice cabinet opens. The small round tannins create a wonderful, even, mouthfeel and a bright acidity drives the entire experience and combines for a long, fresh finish. This phenomenal effort from TWR in a banner vintage is a wine I would gladly sit with and contemplate on its own; It would also bring tremendous joy paired with a hearty lamb chop or even a beautiful filet.

By: Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/30/2015 | Send Email
Both the nose and the palate here bear evidence of the earthy, woodsy side of Pinot Noir. Roast beet mingles with cherry and dry brush on the nose, while the palate takes that cherry aspect and adds cocoa powder, earth, and more forest floor notes. The tannins are light, and the wine has an acidic profile, keeping this Pinot Noir lively.

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/31/2015 | Send Email
While I loved prior versions of this favorite Pinot, this new expression from a near perfect vintage took a different qualitative turn with the inspired interplay of fruit from another site, creating a generous, complex, elegant rendering, the epitome of depth, sophistication and grace— perfumed aromas of dried flowers, forest mushrooms intermixed with wild strawberry, red plum and raspberry fruit on the palate. Well-defined acidity and a fine, harmonious finish, winemakers Jason and Anna Flowerday have surpassed their own uncompromising standards with this wonderful Pinot Noir. Not to be missed!
Top Value!

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/25/2014 | Send Email
TWR is coming up. Solid little offering for what will surely one day be known world-wide as one of Marlborough's best. Right now, be one of the lucky few who know how special these wines are. Top quality.

By: Mike Barber | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2014 | Send Email
This is a Pinot with structure--a nervy and delicious cool weather red with lean red fruit flavors but plenty of mouth-coating tannins. The fruit notes here are slightly bitter, lean raspberry and plum resting behind cassis and lavender, leaving a wonderfully long impression on the palate. The winemakers at Te Whare Ra took full advantage of the excellent 2013 growing season to craft this mouthwatering Pinot.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2019

By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2014 | Send Email
The wines from Te Whare Ra have been turning heads since we've brought them into our New Zealand category, and the 2013s may be the best to date. The Pinot shows lovely dark plum, strawberry, cherry, light toasty oak, earth/clay notes, a hint of rose petal, tea bag and spice. On the palate, the wine has soft supple tannins that are balanced and harmonious with a long, persistent finish.

By: Jim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/15/2014 | Send Email
Although New Zealand has been almost exclusively known for wonderful Sauvignon Blancs the past several decades, we have seen in the past several years some nicely produced, but not outstanding, Pinot Noirs coming from many producers there. A few of these productions have impressed me to the point that I have told many customers that New Zealand is on the same quality threshold that the Willamette Valley wineries were thirty-five to forty years ago. And I have told customers that while these productions were promising, like those of the Oregon producers, it would probably be another seven to ten years when we would see some incredible quality Pinots coming from New Zealand that would rival the fabulous Pinots that now are coming from the Willamette Valley, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast and the Santa Lucia Mountain range. Then Ryan Woodhouse brings in the 2012 Te Whare Ra, and it was thoroughly impressive. And now with the 2013, I have to take several steps back and tell you that I was off by five to ten years, in that it would not take the New Zealand producers so long to create Pinots that would be on an equivalent level as the aforementioned wines. This is an amazing Pinot from a truly great, great vintage. Medium–deep ruby in color, with opulent, distinctive aromas of dried rose petals, strawberry, red fruits and spicy notes underscored by a slate mineral tone and a mild gamey quality. This carries over to a complex, layered, deep set of flavors with excellent balance, broadness and viscosity, and a lush mid-range and finish. Rusty has told me that this Gem is a truly great wine and needs to be in our collection immediately before it vanishes. Good work, Ryan, and thanks for making me eat my words. 19.0 UC Davis points out of 20.
Drink from 2014 to 2020

By: Mellyn Craig | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
I am already a fan of the TWR wines, but this 2013 Pinot Noir elevated their quality to another level with the same great price! The 2013 was an amazing vintage for New Zealand, but I think what really made a difference this year is the addition of a second vineyard in this wine. The new addition is a vineyard from a steep, north facing slope (which is the sunny side in the Southern Hemisphere) with clay soils. The clay soil brings a silky mouth feel that I love! This wine has a great balance of red and dark currant, with a lot of spice, flint and earth. The complexity far exceeds the price. Enjoy!

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
This organically and biodynamically-grown Pinot Noir shows a bit more flesh than past vintages, as it comes from two vineyards. One has gravelly soil, the other is a steep slope with more clay. The result is a Pinot of both finesse and power, at a very reasonable price for the quality. Bravo!

By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
I have to admit I was expecting something a little fruitier and rounder after tasting the 2012 vintage, but the 2013 is excellent. It’s really well balanced, adding a little earth, spice and tannins. There’s an excellent leafy, brambly quality to this wine that I love, integrated into the cranberry, black cherry and raspberry fruits. A great Pinot and a great vintage from TWR.

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
Most any Pinot Noir fan will find something to like in this extremely well crafted bottling: juicy yet crisp fruits that fall somewhere in the middle of the red to dark spectrum, lovely floral inner mouth aromas, and balanced tannins that frame the wine and should give it enough structure to handle lamb chops equally well as a healthy slab of grilled Alaskan salmon (it is July, after all!)

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5
Organic: