2015 Murdoch James Rhiannon Pinot Meunier Rosé, Martinborough
Murdoch James is a wine producer situated in the Martinborough region of New Zealand’s South Island, in the South Wairarapa valley.
20 years ago, Roger and Jill Fraser first planted Pinot Noir and Syrah on the Dry River terraces of the Murdoch James Estate’s Blue Rock Vineyard.
The rosé wine tasted today is made of 100% Pinot Meunier grapes which is rather unusual, not to say very unusual.
Pinot Meunier is one of the three main Champagne grape varieties. But it is without a doubt the least famous of the three and the one that you rarely see bottled as a varietal wine (as opposed to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the other two illoustrious Champagne grapes).
As Raymond Chan reveals on his website this Pinot Meunier vineyard was planted in 1987 with the intention of making sparking wine. But this has never become a reality. Murdoch James winery made it into this rosé wine instead and we’re pleased they did as it gives us the opportunity to taste a varietal still Pinot Meunier wine.
The wine displays a rather intense pink salmon color with a clear orange hue to it. It’s darker and a little more orange than your average rosé.
The aromas on the smell tease the curiosity. It’s very fragrant and intense, delivering a variety of fruit notes: strawberry, lime, pomegranate, with a touch a fresh grassiness lifting the overall feel.
The mouthfeel combines a relatively low acidity, to a touch of sweetness, an oily texture, as well as slightly salty finish that leaves you with an enjoyable mouth-watering feel. Plenty of fruit explode on the palate, like eating a spoon of strawberry jam, but with kick of fresh lime, and a certain savouriness from lifted spicy notes (peppermint and white pepper).The finish feels a little warm.
An intensely fruity and fragrant rosé wine, warm and spicy yet refreshing. Easy to drink and enjoy simply on a warm summery BBQ night. But it’s also got the extra interest coming from the Pinot Meunier, the grape variety from Champagne that rarely delivers wine outside their region of origin. This gives it a distinctive complexity for the style with many layers of flavors and some savoriness that asks to be paired with food.
If you’ve ever wondered what the contribution of Pinot Meunier grape is in the Champagne blend, this wine has some answers…
Find out more about Murdoch James on their website MurdochJames.co.nz