Robert Parker (Apr 08)
The 2006 Te Muna Road Pinot Noir was a little sullen on the nose when I tasted it, the palate displays very fine tannins with a touch of sous-bois and spice towards the plum finish.
The precocious Craggy Range has rapidly become one of New Zealandâ€™s premier wine producers. Established in 1997, it is the collaboration between businessman Terry Peabody and the winemaking expertise of quiet, retiring Steve Smith MW, who concentrates upon the Bordeaux-blend â€œSophiaâ€ and the Sauvignon Blanc. Smith has employed the skills of Rob Easthope to focus upon Chardonnay and Syrah and Adrian Baker on Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The state-of-the-art winery is modeled on futuristic architecture and is over-shadowed by the peaks that give rise to their name. The philosophy is firmly directed towards small production of single vineyard sites a la Burgundy. They purchased their own vineyard in the Te Muna sub-region of Martinborough where Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are cultivated, whilst fruit from the South Island is out-sourced. Their two flagship wines of â€œSophia,â€ a Bordeaux blend and â€œLe Sol,â€ which is 100% Syrah. Recent vintages of these were tasted both at the winery and appeared in blind horizontal tasting where their quality shone through.