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Alana Estate is not a familiar name to American Pinot Noir geeks, but this estate will shortly be exporting their excellent Pinot Noir to the United States, and I am confident this wine will find a place in many of their cellars.
Alana Estate was established in 1992 by a group of shareholders headed by Ian and Alana Smart. Encompassing 55 acres of land, 42 acres of which are in planted vines, and located on the northern edge of the Martinborough Terrace, this estate is believed to be the driest location in Martinborough. The site is cool with well-drained deep stony soil making growing conditions ideal for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Recent plantings are dominated by close density and low trellised Pinot Noir. The vineyard will be in full production in 2010.
Alana’s most immediate neighbor is the world-renowned Dry River, which occupies 30 acres of land immediately adjacent the Alana Estate. Ata Rangi and Martinborough Vineyards are close by.
The Alana Estate is home to a modern gravity-flow winery which is set up to allow multiple small batches of wine to be processed. In 2008, 8,200 cases of wine were produced and the 2009 harvest was even better, producing 11,000 cases.
Alana Estate Pinot Noir will be available in the United States November 1, 2009. A portion of the United States allocation is being made available first to the mailing list through the U.S.-based website, www.alanestate.com, that will launch October 1, 2009. Some wine will be sold through a select number of fine wine stores and restaurants, primarily in CA, AZ, NV, MI, TX, and NY.
2012 Alana Estate Lumiere Martinborough New Zealand Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., screwcap. Imported by Terrell Wines, San Francisco, CA. An established estate planted in 1993 in the heart of the Martinborough Terrace Appellation. The vineyard is organically farmed. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Pleasant aromas of cherry, raspberry, baking spice and oak. Juicy and bright, with a middleweight core of oak-kissed black cherry fruit. Undertones of spice, herbs and smoke add complexity. Finishes with plenty of sweet cherry and a tug of oak. Even less appealing the following day from a previously opened bottle. Score: 86. Reviewed October 21, 2014 ARTICLE »
2008 Alana Estate Martinborough New Zealand Pinot Noir
14.3% alc., pH 3.76, 2,500 cases, $39.99, screw cap. Grapes were hand picked and 100% de-stemmed. Aged in French oak for 10 months and settled in stainless for an additional 5 months. Unfined and unfiltered. Bottled July 3, 2009. · A black cherry bombast in the nose and on the palate. A hint of cola and spice add interest with oak playing a subtle supporting role. The most striking feature of this wine is the velvety texture. Beautifully crafted and perfectly harmonious, this is a complete wine. One of the best Pinot Noirs I have ever sampled from New Zealand. Reviewed September 5, 2009 ARTICLE »