The wines of Cambridge Road, Martinborough
Part 6 of my series on New Zealand's Martinborough/Wairarapa region


I haven’t visited Cambridge Road, a small biodynamic vineyard in New Zealand’s Martinborough region, but I did meet owner Lance Redgwell while I was in the region, and he later sent along some samples for me to try at my hotel in Wellington. I’m so glad he did, because these wines are superb. I was so enthusiastic I tried (with limited success) to share them with my colleagues!

It’s a small 5.5 acre (3 hectare) vineyard on the Martinborough terrace originally planted in 1986, and previously known as the Fraser block. First vintage was 2007 for the Pinot Noir and 2008 for the Syrah.

The notes below are from a number of encounters with these wines; month and year of tasting is indicated after each in brackets.


Cambridge Road ‘Noblestone’ Pinot Noir 2007 Martinborough
Lovely black cherry and spice nose shows real intensity. Beautifully expressive palate with lovely meaty, spicy fruit. A bold, rich wine but showing restraint and complexity at the same time. Some iron and subtle leather notes, too. 94/100 (02/10)

Cambridge Road Pinot Noir 2009 Martinborough
Taut and elegant with fresh cherry fruit and great purity and balance. A lighter, more elegant style showing expressive red cherry fruit. 93/100 (01/11)

Cambridge Road ‘Animus’ Pinot Noir 2008 Martinborough
An elegant, understated style – a little lifted on the nose with an appley edge to the cherry fruit. 88/100 (01/11)

Cambridge Road ‘Dovetail’ Syrah/Pinot Noir 2008 Martinborough
Very silky and smooth with a sweetness to the peppery fruit, and some grip on the finish. It’s an unusual wine with the bite of cool climate Syrah blending well with the sweet cherry fruit of the Pinot Noir, and I really like it. 91/100 (02/10)

Cambridge Road ‘Dovetail’ Syrah/Pinot Noir 2008 Martinborough
Wonderfully peppery and expressive, with a meaty, spicy edge to the elegant raspberry and cherry fruit. Thrillingly alive. 93/100 (01/11)

Cambridge Road Syrah 2008 Martinborough
Beautifully expressive wine with subtly peppery, spicy edge to the perfumed raspberry and cherry fruit nose. The palate is dense but fresh with some spice and black pepper notes alongside the plum and cherry fruit, and a meaty, savoury streak adding interest. 93/100 (02/10)

Cambridge Road Syrah 2008 Martinborough
Lively, with some richness to the raspberry and plum fruit, and also a lively pepper character. Just beautiful: ripe but elegant. 94/100 (01/11)

Cambridge Road Syrah 2008 Martinborough
Wonderful white pepper edge to the bright, fresh, intense berry fruits. Fresh, elegant peppery palate with bright berry and cherry fruit and great definition. Lively, expressive and pure with some herb and peppery character. Lovely wine. 95/100 (06/11)


Part 1,Martinborough Pinot Noir: a remarkable vertical tasting
Part 2, Dry River
Part 3, Ata Rangi
Part 4, Gladstone Vineyard
Part 5, Martinborough Vineyard
Part 6, Cambridge Road
Part 7, Escarpment
Part 8, Palliser Estate

Wines tasted as indicated  
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