Wairau River, Giving Me Shivers

Hello and Happy Post Holidays! By the time this posts, I’ll be back in school, but I will be done with my first semester. I did not bomb all of my classes, so I’ll be sticking around there for at least one more semester of law school. As I now have my bearings, I am hoping to catch up on all the wines I received since September and churn out a blog post every other week. We shall see how all of that turns out, but for now…onto the wine.

wrr pinot gris grapes on the vine

All the way back in September, I was sent a bottle of wine from Wairau River. I was particularly excited to try a wine from here because Chris and Phil Rose released their first bottle in 1991, so the label is just a touch older than I am. It’s exciting to see what some of the newer labels are capable of as I feel like a lot of attention is placed on wines that come from very old/celebrated wineries. The label is also 100% family owned and run, which seems particularly commendable after the holiday season where most of us were probably ready to get some distance after a week among our families. Before getting the bottle, I had never noticed anything by this winery in any of the local wine shops. However, once I received the bottle, I suddenly realized it’s everywhere. So, if any of what I say below sounds interesting, I know that I’ve seen a bottle in every wine store I’ve checked out in Philly. If you’re local, look for one yourself!


As far as the bottle I tried goes, this was the 2016 Wairau River Pinot Noir. This single varietal wine came from Marlborough. While I have had many a wine from Australia, I don’t believe I’ve had much from New Zealand. Overall, it was very fruit forward with lots of ripe red berry notes that came through. Cherry was the most prevalent note to me. To round out some of those berry notes and add a little complexity, this had an edge of spices and vanilla to it. The SRP is roughly $24.99. If you are a Pinot lover and are looking for a decent bang for your buck, this would be a solid option to try. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re still new to Pinot Noir but want to explore some more, I believe this is an approachable bottle that doesn’t require any brooding over notes. If you’re one of those people who drink certain wines during certain seasons (which is a mentality I decidedly do not prescribe too), this is perfect for the autumn when the weather is just turning and you want something with just a little grip, or in the winter months if you want something to shake you out of those winter blues.


Additionally, the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is the bottle I noticed in most stores and is only $16.99. If $24.99 is just a little too steep or a price you aren’t comfortable spending on a new brand, I recommend checking this white bottle out to get a feel for the winery and what they can do. That one is next on my list to try, too! Have you had any wines from Wairau River? If yes, what did you think? I hope you all had a great holiday seasons and that your year is off to a great start! Cheers.

These wines were kindly provided to me by the wineries/importers listed above, but all opinions are my own.

Also, thank you to Terlato Wines and Donna White PR for the photos I was able to use for this post. 


About A Famished Foodie

Food geek, wannabe Parisian, and lover of polka dots. Author of A Famished Foodie and Superior Spider-Talk contributor. Bold wine, sour beer & dessert make me nerd out.
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