Martinborough Pinot Noir

Posted: October 4, 2015 – 3:01 AM

Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic

Daniel Brennan hasn’t followed the usual path to winemaking success. The Delran native grew up in the restaurant family that owns McCrossen’s Tavern on 20th Street and managed the band called Seeking Home. But when he suddenly got the itch to learn about winemaking, he literally moved across the globe – to New Zealand – where he went to school and founded Decibel Wines. There, he makes an atypical sauvignon blanc (not a grapefruit bomb), an excellent 2013 single-vineyard Martinborough pinot noir (full of cola, earth, berries, and balance) that was just named one of the country’s best by Wine Enthusiast, and some unusual experiments, too. My favorite was the Amplified white blend that uses a 10 percent dose of viognier to give texture and tropical lushness to crisp chardonnay. The full-circle irony of it all? Nearly 50 percent of what he makes, he says, is sold in South Jersey wine stores and Philadelphia restaurants: “It’s crazy, I know . . . but it’s working!”

– Craig LaBan

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