Thursday, April 22, 2021


Decibel Wines is a project of Daniel Brennan of Martinborough, New Zealand.  Brennan is an American from a Philadelphia restaurateur family of Sicilian descent.  Decibel is the primary label of a trio that includes Testify and Giunta, wines which are aimed at lower tier pricing.

Pinot Noir is the primary grape of Martinborough, which is at the southernmost portion of the northern island of New Zealand.  It has been grown there successfully since 1975, which is about when the wine industry started in New Zealand.  The Martinborough wine country conveniently lies one hour east of the New Zealand capital, Wellington.  

To the west are the Rimutaka Mountains which shelter the wine valley from undue rains from that side; in effect, creating a favorable wind tunnel of sorts that controls vine vigor, affecting flowering and leading to lower yields.  Perfect for Pinot Noir.  The grapes are organically dry farmed in this semi-maritime climate.  The soil is clay over ancient river bed providing perfect drainage for the vines. is once again a website short on specific wine information but otherwise it's a very pleasant look/see.  The homepage prose is lovely as is the artwork.  Kudos to the designer.  It makes you want to know more and to do that you have to go elsewhere.

As pinot lovers everywhere will attest; when it's right, Pinot Noir has an elusive charm.  It's hard to put into words.  Fortunately we think we found some that pretty much nail it.  The wine is "spicy, juicy, plummy, gamey, light, dry and earthy and perfumy."  It also exhibits "dark cherry, forest floor and savory aromatics."  Or as one observer noted, "The nose is a smear of fancy strawberry preserves on a cedar cutting board.  The palate is cherries smeared on a dusty chalk board."  -Bingo!

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