Aromatic white wines and Te Whare Ra are synonymous with the phrase ‘high quality’. They just seem to nail it all the time. Organic grown, made by legends.Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
The mishaps of 2020 have really clipped the wings of biodynamic Marlborough producer TWR, which deserves to be riding the crest of a wave. Jason Flowerday, one half of this inspiring husband-and-wife team, was named NZ Viticulturist of the Year back in February by Gourmet Traveller WINE. A few months later, the estate rocketed into super-rarefied company by having a second wine added to the Fine Wines of New Zealand classification when Anna and Jase’s 2017 single-vineyard dry Riesling joined Toru.
This month we have a timely reminder that, though TWR’s modern fame is built upon its pristine aromatic whites, their deft touch and first-rate viticulture works wonders with Syrah and Pinot, too. The estate’s latest Pinot inspired Wine Front writer Gary Walsh to write in his review intro: “I always bang on about how good Marlborough Pinot Noir can be. It just needs the right sites, and attention to detail in the vineyard.” Exhibit A, right here.
Fresh, crisp, high-energy sauvignon blanc with appealingly pure lemongrass, lime juice, gooseberry and capsicum flavours. A refreshing wine from a hot, dry vintage where many wines lacked acidity.92 points. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
Vibrant perfume shows sweet citrus, blackcurrant, faint green herb and a waft of almond. There’s more of those things in the flavour profile, it’s surprisingly tight, though the almond-nuttiness is more pronounced here and layers in more character. Quite powerful too, though you’d also say, surprisingly, restrained. Nicely done.94 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
This is the best Te Whare Ra ‘D’ Riesling that I can recall tasting. It has true ‘old vine’ concentration with citrus blossom and subtle oyster shell flavours. Tantalisingly accessible now but with the potential to develop well in bottle.95 points. Bob Campbell MW, Gourmet Traveller WINE
Attractively aromatic pinot gris with floral, honeysuckle, pear and ripe apple flavours supported by juicy acidity. An initial hint of sweetness leads to a crisp and satisfyingly dry finish.91 points Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
This 2019 Toru has an intriguing nose with notes of mango, fresh citrus, white florals and exotic spices. These lead into a multi-layered palate with flavours of mango, citrus, red apple and lychee with a lingering spiciness. The palate has excellent fruit concentration and weight with lovely creamy texture, plus a mineral edge which gives it great length of flavour. – Anna Flowerday, TWR
Fresh, floral Gewürztraminer with appealingly pure Turkish Delight, anise, potpourri and subtle herbal flavours. Made in a medium-dry style, but with a reasonably drying finish and a little alcohol warmth.91 points. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
Cherry, damp earth, spice and dried flowers. Medium-bodied, a little sappy, but with a coolness and fine ‘mineral’ feel, tannin is dense and tight, with a sort of emery texture, a dusting of cocoa, and tamarind infused red fruits on a long clean finish. Lovely wine. Has a bit of X-Factor, even. I like it.94 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
This delivers a very complete and fruit-focused impression with the right balance of fresh red cherries and berries and more savory, woody and lightly earthy notes. The freshness and elegance is impressive.93 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com
Aromatic pinot noir with bright cherry, raspberry, plum and spice and anise flavours. This elegant and seductively drinkable wine doesn’t lack power but delivers it with great subtlety. Silken texture and a very lengthy finish.95 points. Bob Campbell The Real Review MW February, 2017