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Murdoch James Pinot Noir Fraser 2003

Winemaker's Notes:

Established in 1986 by Roger and Jill Fraser, Murdoch James estate has a reputation for producing award-winning wines. In 1998 the Frasers purchased the Blue Rock Vineyard located on the banks of the Dry River and developed the existing stock of Pinot Noir. In the last couple of years there has been an initiative to convert the vineyard to organic status and they have recently applied for Bio-Gro certification. They have moved away from a single crop (grapes) to a poly-culture with areas fenced off for livestock and other unsuitable areas planted with native trees and shrubs. Biodiversity also involves creating healthy environments to encourage insect and microbial change and making less intrusive use of natural resources (water management, composting). The bio-sustainable approach is intended to promote soil and vine health, better quality fruit and to accentuate the quality of the individual terroirs. The Martinborough terroir is truly special. The climate (warm days, cool evenings and long ripening season) assists complexity in the wines and the variety of different soils allows a diversity of styles and terroir differentiation. Grapes are harvested by hand and yields are incredibly low - 25-30 hl/ha. Controlled temperature fermentation and cold maceration optimise flavour and colour extraction in the wines. Malolactic conversion in oak barrels followed by ageing for 12 months in French barriques. A superbly complex Pinot with black cherry and plum flavours with lovely colour and balanced acidity receiving merited praise in the Wine Spectator.

Region: France » Alsace

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Color: Red
Varietal: Pinot Noir
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Murdoch James, Martinborough:
Our arm of Clan Fraser, whose ancestral home was in Aberdeenshire, immigrated to Nova Scotia in Canada in the 19th century. Later they travelled on to New Zealand via Australia. These first arrivals established farms in the fertile Hauraki Plains area, south of Auckland. Five generations on, and continuing the farming traditions, we planted a vineyard in New Zealand’s premier Pinot Noir region ... Read more
Our arm of Clan Fraser, whose ancestral home was in Aberdeenshire, immigrated to Nova Scotia in Canada in the 19th century. Later they travelled on to New Zealand via Australia. These first arrivals established farms in the fertile Hauraki Plains area, south of Auckland. Five generations on, and continuing the farming traditions, we planted a vineyard in New Zealand’s premier Pinot Noir region of Martinborough. That it was grapes rather than other forms of farming is a result of history; over 40 years ago as a student, I worked on a vineyard during school vacations and a dream, which became an obsession, was born. I wanted to tend grapes, craft fine wines and share them with wine lovers around the world. My wife Jill came to share the vision which took 20 years to become a reality when in 1986, we took a bag of Pinot Noir and Syrah cuttings and planted our first vines by hand. While we chose Martinborough because it was already established as New Zealand’s premium Pinot Noir region, we planted Syrah, because of our love of the wine. In fact the Syrah we planted that year was the very first planting of the variety in Martinborough. At the urging of our son Carl, we named the vineyard in memory of my father, Murdoch James Fraser, who had died at a young age, but who had left us with two memories; the importance of family, and integrity in all one does. Over time, our values have evolved to include sustainability and a strong customer focus. Whilst now after 25 years, the vineyard has an established reputation for fine wines sold all over the world, the family is still paramount. Jill manages the business; Roger looks after sales and exports while son Carl makes the wine and his partner Nicola helps on the commercial side; and the next generation is about to be born! The beautiful Blue Rock vineyard is a natural destination for visitors and when the winery was upgraded a large restaurant/tasting area was added. Caves were excavated underground and large cellars created. The grounds are landscaped with native flora and local rock walls abound. It is a popular wedding venue. With the Dry River winding around the property and mature shade trees and a man-made lake it is just right for eating out of doors or on the sunny café deck. Read less

Established in 1986 by Roger and Jill Fraser, Murdoch James estate has a reputation for producing award-winning wines. In 1998 the Frasers purchased the Blue Rock Vineyard located on the banks of the Dry River and developed the existing stock of Pinot Noir. In the last couple of years there has been an initiative to convert the vineyard to organic status and they have recently applied for Bio-Gro certification. They have moved away from a single crop (grapes) to a poly-culture with areas fenced off for livestock and other unsuitable areas planted with native trees and shrubs. Biodiversity also involves creating healthy environments to encourage insect and microbial change and making less intrusive use of natural resources (water management, composting). The bio-sustainable approach is intended to promote soil and vine health, better quality fruit and to accentuate the quality of the individual terroirs. The Martinborough terroir is truly special. The climate (warm days, cool evenings and long ripening season) assists complexity in the wines and the variety of different soils allows a diversity of styles and terroir differentiation. Grapes are harvested by hand and yields are incredibly low - 25-30 hl/ha. Controlled temperature fermentation and cold maceration optimise flavour and colour extraction in the wines. Malolactic conversion in oak barrels followed by ageing for 12 months in French barriques. A superbly complex Pinot with black cherry and plum flavours with lovely colour and balanced acidity receiving merited praise in the Wine Spectator.

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