FROM THE TASTINGS: CHARDONNAY

A gap in our wine-maker hosted tasting gave us a chance to taste some excellent Chardonnays. From around New Zealand – South to North with the inclusion of our top selling Californian, Bogle, and one served blind from the South of Burgundy. Starting with our two top selling $20.00 Chardonnays, the rest of the selection was taken to represent top labels from each region – all have been rated 5 stars by various wine writers and we finished with what can be regarded as one of the best, Sacred Hill Riflemans. The line-up didn’t disappoint. We are blessed with a richness of choice with NZ Chardonnay and our top Chardonnays can foot it with the best from around the world.


Giesen The Brothers Chardonnay 2015 $19.99

It’s easy to see why this is consistently one of our top selling Chardonnays.  Sourced from 5 different Marlborough vineyards, wild fermented and aged in a mix of French barriques and German oak fuders. Since its release a couple of months ago, this has opened out dramatically and is showing lemon, flinty, cashew nut flavours. Very approachable and ticks all the ‘Chardonnay’ boxes.


Bogle Clarksburg Chardonnay 2015 $19.99

Californian Chardonnay seems to have found a gap in the NZ market place, especially styles such as the Bogle. It is golden, creamy, buttery with the sweet vanillin American oak that rolls around the palate and gentle acidity. Quite soft and obvious but very drinkable and a crowd pleaser.


Domaine Rewa Chardonnay 2014 $29.99

Domaine Rewa is a small Central Otago producer located on the slopes of the Pisa range, bio-dynamically farmed. Initially quite shy this opened out in the glass with flinty mineral characters then a savoury mealy note.


Black Estate Home Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 $38.99

From the old vines planted in the Home vineyard in front of the café. Just released, this has lemony citrus flavours and a great textural element with great drive through the palate. It should be noted that Nicholas likes to make his wines as natural as possible – this is unfiltered and shows some cloudiness especially at the bottom of the bottle.


Dog Point Chardonnay 2014 $33.99

The Dog Point Chardonnay vineyard has old vine, Mendoza and clone 95 Chardonnay grown organically. Since the inception of the Dog Point label, this has been a distinctive wine. As a young wine, there is always evident smoky, gunflint, sulphidic aromas that overlay a complex, full-bodied palate. As the wines age, this integrates into the wine – and Dog Point Chardonnays age extremely well.  A solid tasting Chardonnay with plenty of citrus fruit, spicy oak and mineral linearity. This was the 2nd favourite Chardonnay as voted by the tasters.


Domaine Christophe Cordier Macon Milly Lamartine Clos du Four 2014 $45.99

Milly-Lamartine is a small commune in the Mâcon-Villages of Southern Burgundy entitled to put its name on the label due to a higher quality reputation. This is quite rich is style and served blind, no-one identified it as being from Burgundy. It has freshness and hints of white flowers and pineapple with some ‘Werthers Original’ butterscotch notes. Quite modern in style.


Martinborough Vineyards Chardonnay 2014 $36.99

Recent releases of this well-established label have been very good. Quite an elegant expression with plenty left to unfold. Like the label, this screams ‘yellow’ – nectarine, plum, lemon with sizzling grilled nuts. It is yummy stuff.


Quarter Acre Chardonnay 2016 $29.99

Rod McDonald gets the fruit for this wine from the Doc’s Block vineyard along the Haumoana coast of Hawkes Bay (alongside other great Chardonnay vineyards like Clearview and Elephant Hill). Just released and obviously youthful, this is noticeably warmer climate in style with melon and peach flavours. There are lots of subtle elements that make for a tight, powerful Chardonnay. Very, very good.


Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2015 $29.99
No line up of NZ Chardonnay could exclude one from Kumeu River. Always made in the same style (hand picked-whole bunch pressed- natural ferment in French oak- 100% malolactic). Stonefruits, cream, vanilla, almond. Perfectly poised and balanced. Classic Kumeu River.


Sacred Hill Riflemans Chardonnay 2015 $61.99

The high ‘Riflemans’ terrace, overlooking the Tutaekuri river in Hawkes Bay is planted entirely to Mendoza clone Chardonnay. It has proved to be a very special site. Each vine is considered to potentially end up in the Rifleman Chardonnay, however with a rigorous selection process it is only the very best barrels that do so. This is a powerful, concentrated wine that fills the senses. A wonderous Chardonnay that was easily the favourite of the night. A great Chardonnay.