Always 'up there' for Hawkes' Bay Chardonnay, the 2021 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay is set to be a classic release. Beautifully balanced with a very sophisticated, masterful wine-making touch. Wine maker, Julien Ground's Chardonnay experience at wineries such as Leeuwin Estate is obvious.
Winery notes (2021 Vintage)
"Pale lime to pale straw. Vibrant aromas of white-fleshed peach, fresh cashew and kaffir lime. The fruit intensity is high on the palate, with power from start to finish. However, a constant thread of crunchy natural acidity persists throughout the palate, ensuring the wine is always in balance. The oak influence is subtle but frames the fruit perfectly. Our strongest release of this wine to date, owing to a fantastic vintage and the coming of age of our new plantings."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
94/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, May 2021 (2020 Vintage)
"Pleasingly textural chardonnay with intense grapefruit, tree fruits, nectarine, baguette crust and toasted almond flavours. A rich yet vibrant wine that is accessible now but should mellow nicely with a few years bottle age."
5 Stars & Top 10 Cuisine Chardonnay Tasting, October 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"One of the most subtle chardonnays in the top ten. Lean and lithe but very much alive and made with a great deal of finesse. A profile that is awash with apricot stone, citrus, melon and delightful nutty, brioche notes. Very smart. Very elegant."
93+/100 Mike Bennie, The Wine Front (2019 Vintage)
"Powerful chardonnay of big impact yet sleek lines. Struck match and flint, nougat and toast, a lot of apple/stone fruits in the mix, cedary and cinnamon wood gone large. The wine rolls with firm authority through the palate, oak a feature, acidity too, subdued fruit below this. Should cellar very well and mellow that slick and spice of oak off with time – needs it, for mine."
90/100 Cameron Douglas MS, April 2020 (2019 Vintage)
"Classic. Gentle creamy unfurling with white fleshed peach then apple, sweet grapefruit and golden kiwifruit, pear, a gentle soft vanilla spice then sweetness of oak. Dry, weighty and fresh with flavours of cashew and peach, apple and vanilla then sweet oak and baking spices. Fine wood tannins and medium acidity with a moderate finish. Balanced and well made. Drink best now and through 2023."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"This stylish wine is typically mouthfilling and savoury, with complexity from fermentation and maturation in French oak barriques (19 per cent new in 2018). The 2018 vintage, barrel-aged for 10 months, shows lovely freshness and harmony, with a slightly smoky bouquet. Bright, light lemon/green, it is mouthfilling, vibrant and youthful, with finely balanced acidity, deep stonefruit flavours, mealy, biscuity notes adding complexity, and a lingering finish. Best drinking 2021+."