Raymond Chan Wine Reviews – Urlar

Urlar 2013 Sauvignon and Riesling, and 2013 Pinot Gris and Noir

‘Economic and environmental sustainability are our driving principles’ states the Urlar website, and indeed Angus and Davina Thomson are committed to the land having achieved BioGro organic certification early on in their Gladstone venture in 2010.  The Thomsons and their viticulturist-winemaker Guy McMaster tend the 31 ha Urlar vineyard to biodynamic regimes, and reckon this to be fundamental to the quality and style of the wines.  Their approach has rapidly taken the Urlar label to be among the most exciting and interesting in the Wairarapa.  I visited Urlar at the beginning of last year and saw barrel samples of the 2012 Pinot Noir and thought them very promising, especially for a cool vintage (click here to see my report).  The finished wine is now released, and I review it along with the new 2013 Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling wines and 2012 Pinot Gris.

Urlar Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – 4 STARS

Bright straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale edged.  This has a very tight and penetrating nose of cooler-spectrum cut grass and nettle-like fruit aromas, with subtle passionfruit nuances, the bouquet revealing savoury herbs and mouthwatering minerals.  Dry to taste and medium-bodied, fresh, lively fruit flavours of grass, capsicums and gooseberries form a tight core and show with lusciousness and vitality.  Herb, green apple and mineral detail unfold, and the palate flows with energy, following a very fine phenolic, textural line.  Lifted florals and minerals feature on the long, firm, racy finish.  This is an elegant, refreshingly juicy and lively Sauvignon Blanc with cut and linearity.  Match with seafood, poultry, salads and vegetables in Mediterranean-inspired fare over the next 2 years.  Fermented in stainless-steel with a portion in seasoned oak to 13.5% alc. and 2.3 g/L RS.  Certified BioGro organic.  17.5+/20  May 2014  RRP $24.00

Urlar Gladstone Riesling 2013 – 4 STARS

Cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and 7.0 g/L RS, and TA 8.6 g/l and pH 2.92, the wine aged on lees.  Bright straw-yellow colour with slight lemon-green hues.  The nose is clean, fresh and steely, with lime and lemon fruit aromas, lifted with white floral and stonefruit notes, revealing savoury citrus, honey and toast nuances in the glass,  Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with fruit flavours of limes and lemons along with savoury mineral elements.  This has good fruit extract and the palate is carried by soft, dry textures with underlying, thirst-quenching acid drive to a sustained, citrussy finish.  This is a dry, concentrated, mouth-watering Riesling with lime-like fruit and savoury nuances.  Serve as an aperitif and with seafood.  It will develop greater complexity over the next 5-6 years.  Certified BioGro organic.  18.0/20  May 2014  RRP $27.00

Urlar Gladstone Pinot Gris 2012 – 4 STARS

Fruit hand-picked and WBP, fully barrel-fermented in seasoned oak to 13.0% alc. and 1.4 g/L RS, the wine aged 12 months in oak, the wine undergoing batonnage.  Full straw-yellow colour with pale gold hues.  The nose is full and broad with solid and deep aromas of yellow stonefruits with minerally lees elements and nutty, barrel nuances, unfolding complexing layers of pear and honeysuckle with aeration.  Dry to taste and medium-bodied, softly concentrated and well-packed flavours of savoury yellow stonefruits are melded with minerals, smoke and nutty elements.  The mouthfeel is rounded from the barrel-ferment, with some phenolic textures forming a dry palate line.  The palate flows with good drive to a weighty and dry, grainy, lingering finish.  This is a medium-bodied, dry Pinot Gris with complex