An easy drinking Pinot Gris joins The Ned lineup, and is a great match for Nuba’s wide ranging and lightly spiced plates
• The Ned Pinot Gris 2013. Pretty Salmon colour with floral and stone fruit aromas, followed by juicy pear and peach notes wrapped in juicy acidity. This newest addition to The Ned line-up is a perfect spring into summer sipper—and a great match for lightly spiced dishes. 89 pts. $16-$18 PWS
• The Ned Pinot Noir 2013. Medium bodied with fresh, fruit forward style, cherry and raspberry with some earthy and mineral notes wrapped in juicy acidity, plus a touch of spice. Currently on shelves, 2013. This vintage available soon, BCLS $20.99 90 pts.
And here’s my column in the North Shore News
Meeting with Brent Marris is a little bit like trying to lasso a small cyclone, albeit it a pretty friendly one! You may not recognise the name but Marris is one of New Zealand’s modern day, powerhouse winemakers—who grew up in the wine business. His father, John Marris was one of Marlborough’s first contract grape growers. You could say Brent began his training in the vineyard at an early age.
He went on to become Marlborough’s first locally born and raised, qualified winemaker, who helped put some major Kiwi producers on the path to success and eventually built his own world-beating Wither Hills brand (which he sold in 2002).
Home to most of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc plantings, Marlborough has seen a few ups and downs in recent years, although things are definitely on the upswing these days. And Marisco Vineyards (which Marris runs with his wife Rosemary) has a fair bit to do with it.
Since 2006 Marris has been busy putting his latest project—The Ned—on the world wine map. The wine is named after one of the region’s tallest peaks, where Marris used to hike, hunt and ride horses. The idea behind the The Ned was to recreate the lively and vibrant, fruit driven style of Sauvignon Blanc (and other wines) that propelled New Zealand to international prominence, explains Marris.
Marris’ hallmark has been to maintain close quality control, growing all the fruit for The Ned (and for the next tier “Kings Series”) on a single 268 ha. parcel on ancient glacial terraced deposits on the Waihopai River.
In more evolved markets, such as the UK, The Ned has taken on a life of its own, where, jokes the winemaker, it’s talked about “almost like 50 Shades of Grey!”
Considering it sells over half a million bottles in the UK, you could say it’s pretty popular…
As Marris explains his and Rosemary’s latest project, his mood takes on a more serious tone. Realising the demand was outstripping their ability to supply, the couple purchased Leefield Station—a historic, high country, 2000 ha. sheep and cattle ranch. They’re in the process of planting about 600 ha. to vines. But the balance will be left in a natural state (with native plants reintroduced) to allow for running Aberdeen Angus cattle and Romney sheep.
“This company will never be sold,” insists Marris, who says these days it’s very much about legacy. The couple have four daughters, the eldest of whom is in the process of completing her winemaking studies (also at Roseworthy). The youngest, at 13 years, has already announced her intention of running the company!