Julicher Estate wines – 18.04.2020

Whilst I’ve been to Martinborough a couple of times, a really thorough examination is well overdue. WineFolio is definitely planning a “Field Trip” to the region for later this year – will be a welcome respite from our days of Level 4 restrictions. For now, the lockdown does give me a bit of time to crack through some sets of wines that deserve some proper attention. This week, we’ve been looking at Julicher Estate – now in it’s third decade and with a slew of awards and medals to its name. The current releases – reviewed below.

Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Whole bunch pressed, and fermented in a mixture of stainless steel tanks, and older oak – definitely not your average Sav. A very pale golden yellow, crisp and fragrant with tropicals, cut grass and lime flowers. Elegantly presented with more citrus zest and mango dancing, but not saturating the palate. A richness that I wouldn’t normally get in a Sav – and a linear acidity that delivers. Also, there’s a dimpled texture and a complexity to this. It’s like a great Chardonnay structure, but with absolutely varietal Sav flavours. A confounding but riveting wine. I’m also wondering about ageing this – must get more.

Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2016

The flagship – from a single block, and barrel selected. Spicy and perfumed, with distinctive herbal earthiness amongst the doris plum and black cherry. An intensity to the palate, with succulently ripe flavours and a wet stone minerality. Complex, generous and layered. Mocha and black tea to the tannins, sitting between the glossy texture and the acidity.

A gentle seasoning of new oak toastiness is obvious, but that still has a finesse – nothing is overt; and the balance is precise. The finish is persistant, with a richness and depth that goes for miles. Classic Martinborough flavours and Pinot style – real poise and elegance.

Te Muna Road Riesling 2018

Julicher riesling

Hand harvested fruit from the Te Muna Road vineyard, from an ideal vintage. Palest bright and shining gold in the glass – unfined and only lightly filtered – ours threw a light sediment* (unusual to see these days in whites). A top note of chamomile, spring flowers, with a fresh white peach and lemongrass. Plush (in an off-dry style ) and rounded; well-lit by a lively acidity in a generous palate packed with a depth of flavour. Layers of tangy apple, stoney minerals, and a lightly spiced green tea unfold within a viscous texture that’s wonderfully mouth-filling and succulent. The finish is harmonious and long. A really sparky example of this varietal – outstanding ageing prospects.

99 Rows Pinot Noir 2016

A blend of clones from the company vineyard in Te Muna Road, Martinborough. A dense ruby red, with inviting notes of blueberry, cherry and buddleia florals on the nose. Boisterous fruit and racy acidity – layers of earthy notes as well as the intense and juicy bramble and plum. Nicely integrated – tannins are fine and chalky, lined up with the mineral and a flush of christmas spices and toasty oak. The finish is sweeter and lightly spicy again – a nice contrast to the savoury welcome.

Julicher 99 rows

*Julicher winemaker Martin Bell replied to these reviews with this note – wine sediment in our 2018 Riesling – this is Cream of Tartar, a natural grape product. Due to the low volume production, we chose not to use additives to stabilise the wine, rather let the wine drop most crystals out over winter, with some remaining. This ensures a full textured and flavoured wine.

One Comment on “Julicher Estate wines – 18.04.2020”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *