When I visit a wine region familiar to me but one I have never visited before, various things attract me to a winery. It could be a familiar winery whose wines I’ve never tried, it could be the name of a wine that jolts my memory, or a winery I’ve never heard of and wines I’ve never tried and probably will never get to try again.
Martinborough is situated in the southwest area of the north island of New Zealand. The first thing we did when we drove into the town was find a wine map. Knowing we were only going to be here a short time, I decided to mix up it up a bit. A visit to some ‘known’ and some ‘unknown’ (to me) wineries seemed the sensible thing to do.
One of the unknowns was this one, Grava (meaning gravel in Spanish). What a great little find this was! We were made feel very welcome at cellar door by Karla (one of the owners and wife of winemaker Alistair Gardner) who was great to speak with and happy to pass on information about their wines and provide generous tastings to be able to really appreciate the wines. Their range consists of a Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Rose and Pinot Noir.
Regarding their pinot noir (I’m pretty sure Karla told us this but it was easier to cut and paste it from their website) “The three clones of Pinot Noir grapes grown at grava are the Dijon clones 115 and 777 and Abel (the “gumboot” clone). The Pinot Noir wines made are clone blends – offering optimum aroma and flavour characteristics, making grava Pinots excellent examples from a region famous for this variety“. It is also unfined and unfiltered.
This particular wine from their range was a standout for me. A lovely deep yet translucent ruby colour to get things started, add to that a beautifully perfumed and aromatic nose of dark fruits and I was impressed without even taking a sip. Loads of flavour when tasting it with (definitely) dark cherries, blueberries were about with nice, ripe, juicy plums saying something mid palate. Even though there is plenty of flavour, it is still elegant, graceful and true to the variety and really good length too. Gee I enjoyed this wine!
Now, unfortunately these wines are not available in Australia and it is pretty expensive to get them sent over from New Zealand but, do yourself a favour, if you make it to Martinborough, put this cellar door on your list. It may not have been on ours but we are so glad we found it.
Region: Martinborough, New Zealand Price: $40 Source: Cellar Door Tasting