Happy NZ Organic Wine Week!
What a great time to celebrate people proudly flying the flag for natural wine-growing – and in particular TWR who had Covid-19 rain on their parade on what should have been a triumphant 2020.
It was a year when TWR deserved 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.
Mind you, at least 2020 – “a Goldilocks vintage” for TWR – had the decency to redeem itself by repaying the Flowerdays in tasty wine.
This stellar Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Toru and Gewürztraminer from 2020 are an elegant riposte to the tribulations, and give fans of naturally grown, organic-certified, vegan-friendly wines plenty to get stuck into during Organic Wine Week.
And 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.
The 2020 Harvest
Over the spring of 2019 we experienced great conditions over flowering which led to moderate crops and a nice, even set which was great after the bad flowering we had in 2019. The summer that followed was warm, dry and even with no big heat spikes – similar to the 2016 growing season. We have described it as “the Goldilocks vintage” – not too hot, not too cold, just right! We did not get the issues with extreme drought like we had in 2019 and so the more gentle summer conditions meant that we had the first fruit into the winery mid-March and harvest was completed by the first week in April.
The resultant wines have great depth of flavour and fleshiness with purity of fruit, bright aromatics and ripe, juicy acidity. – Anna Flowerday
The intensity and freshness here is hard to beat in this hotly contested category, and the intensity of peach, green-mango, lime and grapefruit flavors is impressive. Long, juicy and mouthwateringly fresh. Drink or hold. Screw cap.93 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com
A field blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris that were co-fermented. A fragrant, appealing wine with a silken texture and deliciously lingering fruit and floral finish. Gewürztraminer is the dominant variety. An impressive wine.94 points. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
Full points for intensity. This really does offer terrific concentration of flavour. It’s alive with both aroma and fruit but it has texture, control and persisteDelicately aromatic Pinot Gris with crisp pear, apple and subtle honeysuckle flavours. Dry but not austere, with a mouth-watering line of acidity that promotes a lengthy finish. A bright, refreshing wine.94 points. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
Pure, focused, varietal and enticing bouquet with aromas of red and green apple, pear and sweet lemon. It’s also very floral and mineral with white blossoms and artesian water scents. On the palate – equally pure with fruit flavours, flowers, fruit spices and minerals that reflect the nose. Very youthful and precise with salivating acidity and satin mouthfeel. A delicious wine – perfect as an aperitif, balanced with a lengthy dry finish. Best drinking from today and through 2031+.94 points. Cameron Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com
Fresh, creamy and concentrated Gewürztraminer, with classic varietal flavours including Turkish Delight, lychee and potpourri. A lovely wine with old-vine intensity. Should develop well with bottle age.95 points. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
This is utterly delicious Pinot, delivering abundant spiced-cherry and blueberry-pastry aromas. This has an attractively composed and fleshy, ripe, dark-cherry and red-plum core with long, fresh and juicy drive on the palate. Such great fruit purity here.94 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com
Complex, varietal, floral, a deep core of minerality and soft white pepper bouquet. Flavours of wild and fresh raspberry, black currant, violets and sweet meats, fine silty mineral core and layers of barrel spice and toastiness. Plenty of tannin and a back bone of acidity with youthfully firm yet polished tannin textures – all leading to a lengthy finish. A wine for the cellar – if you can wait till early 2022 – then decant for service and enjoy on its own or with food. Well made, complex and highly recommended.95 points. Cameron Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com