On the Road with the Grape Guy

Martin's Lane Tasting - 2020 Release

13 May 2024

(December 2023) … Martin’s Lane is celebrating their 10th vintage – this is a producer in British Columbia that focuses on Pinot Noir and Riesling. Today, the focus was on their 2020 Pinot Noirs; so much diversity from different parts of the vineyard, and all with their own characteristics ... in a good way.

The wines see similar treatment, so that the diversity they display is vineyard and terroir derived: 25-30% new oak for the most part - Austrian cooperage – and it’s all about the subtlety of oak.

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Fritzi's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Highest yielding vineyard / clay soil in this hilly vineyard which gets plenty of morning sun ... A silky, luxurious Pinot with pleasant fruit notes (plum and strawberry), spice sits under the fruit and there's an herbal sensation - delicate and delicious - the tannins are seamlessly integrated.  (**** ½+)

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Simes Vineyard Pinot Noir
This is the last vineyard to be picked completely, it north facing, is slower to ripen allowing the fruit to mature at at even pace. Then it is 70% whole bunch pressed and fermented in concrete ... Kicks at the nose like a sniff of Chanel no. 5 ... This is a pretty Pinot, with lots of floral notes with a nice cherry strawberry spiced-rhubarb. Tannins are silky by comparison to the other Pinots in this line-up.  (**** ½)

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Naramata Ranch - Zenith Pinot Noir
Very last parcel picked at Martin's, and their first single block release. It is the coolest and warmest block based on the diurnal shifts. It sits 100m from the lake and 100m higher ... Dark fruit along with anise / sage / herbal with a nice bit of smoke in the mid-palate, tannins are not in the way but they play in there.  (**** ½)

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Dehart Vineyard Pinot Noir
Furtherest vineyard from the lake / multi-clones = different harvest dates / 60-65% whole cluster. There’s a floral and earthy note that retains a pretty palate and plenty of acidity - tannins a little grippy - good texture, needs a few years - but there is a lovely elegance here.  (****+)

Martin's Lane Winery 2020 Naramata Ranch Pinot Noir
Spectacular looking vineyard, diverse vineyard that will be broken up into blocks going forward / Much dark fruit - licorice and subtle smoke - palate is approachable, but lackluster and lacking cohesion to the point of being boring as compared to the first.  (*** ½)


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