In the Wairarapa in 1979 Dry River quickly established a reputation as one of the finest producers in the country producing Riesling, Chardonnay, GewÃ¼rztraminer, Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Noir. McCallum retired in 2011 and the winemaking duties have been taken over by Wilco Lam with Robet 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.
SAM KIM - WINE ORBIT
This is immediately appealing, and alluring and intriguing at the same time; the gorgeous bouquet shows dark cherry, plum, warm spice, cedar and floral characters, leading to a concentrated palate that is succulent and expansive. The wine offers splendid fruit purity and intensity, wonderfully complemented by mouth-coating silky texture and loads of polished tannins. So many elements, nothing out of place. A compelling pinot. At its best: 2020 to 2032. $99.00. www.dryriver.co.nz.
A majestic but youthful nose with an array of complex fruits from pomegranate to red cherry, raspberry and boysenberry as well as leaves and herbal notes, and a reticent earthy spices layer. The palate has a very succulent, fresh and elegant mid-palate with focused, tight-set tannins that have a remarkable precision. Sharply focused and extremely long. Power with finesse. Some smoky, whole-bunch notes to close. An excellent wine. Best from 2022.
BOB CAMPBELL MW - THE REAL REVIEW
Typically ripe, concentrated Dry River Pinot Noir, with an array of flavours from fresh herb and floral through to the riper end of the spectrum. A rich, warming and quite complex wine with weight and structure. As good as it is now, the wine is likely to respond well to cellaring
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
Dry River Pinot Noir has changed, and for the better to my tastes, under the considered guidance of the lovely Dutchman (is that an oxymoron?) known as Wilco Lam. Martinborough Pinot Noir often shows a kind of dried rose perfume as a signature, and here we have exhibit a). Lighter and certainly less tannic than some recent iterations, more built on sappy acidity, though flavour is certainly not lacking. Rose petal perfume, peat, dark cherry, poached strawberry, exotic spice and pepper, a distinct ‘mineral’ feel, fine dusty tannin, some dried herb, a pinch and punch of acidity, and flavour, through a long finish. Love the perfume and quiet power.
JOE CZERWINSKI - WINE ADVOCATE
While the 2016 Pinot Noir lacks the richness and depth of the powerful 2015, it's more approachable and charming, with black cherries and raspberries leading the way. It's medium-bodied and silky in texture, with herbal notes and some gentle tea-like tannins, but layered and long on the intricately detailed finish.