Dry River - 'Lovat' Syrah 2017

$115.00
Sale price

Regular price $115.00

The heat summation and distribution for 2017 was similar to 2013, quite spectacular.  However, the impact of the 2017 rain event in early April did not go unnoticed for wine lovers, mainly Pinot Noir aficionados.  Lucky for our Syrah is that it is most often picked in early May, enough time to get back on track for ripening and avoid dilution.  We, therefore, had plenty of confidence in a successful Syrah harvest with ample concentration and ripe tannins.

The wine shows primary dark fruits of the forest like boysenberry and black currants interlaced with violets and hints of black pepper.  We decided to age the wine on oak for a little longer this time, 24 instead of 18 months.  This brought out a certain maturity and subdued vibrancy in the form of dulce de leche, vanilla, nutmeg and allspice on the nose.

Another benefit of prolonged barrel ageing is that the tannins are allowed to soften a bit more, which helps the front palate and thus approachability of the wine.  As a young wine, the fruit is expressive, almost brash, but respectful to the other components of the wine.  Like the acidity, present and linear, not overpowering, the texture is all-encompassing and well proportioned. The wine is neither fined (clarified) nor filtered and might show a light deposit, especially after a few years of ageing.  We see a good life ahead for this wine, with an optimal drinkability after approximately six to eight years.

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Dry River

The name Dry River carries an historical significance as the name of one of the earliest Wairarapa sheep stations (ca. 1877). This was later sold off by the Seddon government and renamed Dyerville, leaving the renamed Waihora River (circa 1900) and the renamed Dyerville Rd (1994) - both after Dry River - as the only reminders of this part of our pastoral farming history. In 1979 Neil and Dawn McCallum planted a vineyard a few kilometres from Dyerville in a very dry, gravely and free-draining area now called the 'Martinborough Terrace' and they took the name Dry River for the vineyard and wines in what was to become another chapter of Martinborough's farming history. Their dream was to produce individual, high quality regional wines which faithfully reflect the 'terroir', vintage and are suitable for cellaring.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Martinborough

Martinborough is the region just north of the New Zealand capital city of Wellington at the base of the north island. It is Pinot Noir country down here without a doubt with a growing interest in aromatics and Bordeaux varietals. The stars are Ata Rangi, Dry River and Escarpment but there is a solid handful of excellent producers in this warm region.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

The heat summation and distribution for 2017 was similar to 2013, quite spectacular.  However, the impact of the 2017 rain event in early April did not go unnoticed for wine lovers, mainly Pinot Noir aficionados.  Lucky for our Syrah is that it is most often picked in early May, enough time to get back on track for ripening and avoid dilution.  We, therefore, had plenty of confidence in a successful Syrah harvest with ample concentration and ripe tannins.

The wine shows primary dark fruits of the forest like boysenberry and black currants interlaced with violets and hints of black pepper.  We decided to age the wine on oak for a little longer this time, 24 instead of 18 months.  This brought out a certain maturity and subdued vibrancy in the form of dulce de leche, vanilla, nutmeg and allspice on the nose.

Another benefit of prolonged barrel ageing is that the tannins are allowed to soften a bit more, which helps the front palate and thus approachability of the wine.  As a young wine, the fruit is expressive, almost brash, but respectful to the other components of the wine.  Like the acidity, present and linear, not overpowering, the texture is all-encompassing and well proportioned. The wine is neither fined (clarified) nor filtered and might show a light deposit, especially after a few years of ageing.  We see a good life ahead for this wine, with an optimal drinkability after approximately six to eight years.

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Dry River

The name Dry River carries an historical significance as the name of one of the earliest Wairarapa sheep stations (ca. 1877). This was later sold off by the Seddon government and renamed Dyerville, leaving the renamed Waihora River (circa 1900) and the renamed Dyerville Rd (1994) - both after Dry River - as the only reminders of this part of our pastoral farming history. In 1979 Neil and Dawn McCallum planted a vineyard a few kilometres from Dyerville in a very dry, gravely and free-draining area now called the 'Martinborough Terrace' and they took the name Dry River for the vineyard and wines in what was to become another chapter of Martinborough's farming history. Their dream was to produce individual, high quality regional wines which faithfully reflect the 'terroir', vintage and are suitable for cellaring.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Martinborough

Martinborough is the region just north of the New Zealand capital city of Wellington at the base of the north island. It is Pinot Noir country down here without a doubt with a growing interest in aromatics and Bordeaux varietals. The stars are Ata Rangi, Dry River and Escarpment but there is a solid handful of excellent producers in this warm region.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.