Julicher Pinot Noir 2009

Julicher Pinot Noir 2009
Julicher Pinot Noir 2009

The track record is of this wine is indisputable, twice in three years winning the best wine of the show at the New Zealand International Wine awards. This 2009 also garnered a gold medal at this latest competition. The wine is full, rich and complex with an almost “masculine” intensity (despite being made by a talented female winemaker). The palate is viscous, with ripe, dark fruit notes and a spicey oak complexity. The wine finishes with warming ethereal flavours and soft-grained tannins. Drink now to 2020.

About the Winery:

Julicher was founded by Wim Julicher in 1996 when he started planting 45 acres of bare land on the Te Muna rd terraces. The vineyard was planted on the deep alluvial gravels to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The wisdom of this decision became abundantly clear when Julicher won Champion of the Show in the New Zealand International Wine Awards 2007 (for their Pinot Noir) and just to prove it wasn’t a fluke, again in 2009! The winemaking team is headed up by Helsinki born Outi Jakovirta who studied her winemaking at Lincoln University in New Zealand. The winery only makes around 5000 cases of wine a year, yet exports to over 10 countries. This is a classy outfit and make some of the best Pinot Noir you will try outside of Burgundy…actually, some of the best Pinot Noir you can try, full stop!

The Region:

Martinborough is one of the three main sub-regions (Gladstone and Masterton being the other two) in the Wairarapa region of the north island of New Zealand. Martinborough lies in a rain shadow between the Taraua and Rimutaka mountain ranges, making it the North Island’s driest spot. It has 4 distinct seasons, with warm days and crisp nights during the growing season. At 40 degrees south latitude it has 1130 growing degrees and a long growing season. However, it is prone to spring frosts, which necessitates the use of wind machines in some vineyards.

Martinborough produces less than 1% of New Zealand’s grape production yet attracts an enormous amount of attention mainly due to the high quality of it’s Pinot Noir. The area is interesting because the wineries are usually small and family owned. There are a large number (over 30) of wineries dedicated to producing high quality Pinot Noir and cool climate varieties from the unique alluvial gravels found throughout the area. The cute village of Martinborough has been transformed over the last 30 years (since vineyards came) into a trendy wine tourism hub, with excellent accommodation and fine restaurants. There are only a handful of wine regions in the world that can rightfully claim to make great Pinot Noir, but this is one of them.

5 out of 5

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