Dry River Chardonnay 2016

96 Points
5 Stars Michael Cooper
5 Stars Raymond Chan
5 Stars Sam Kim
  • Product Code: 4300
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Region: Wellington Wine Country
  • Sub Region: Martinborough
  • Style: White
  • Variety: Chardonnay
  • Closure: Cork
  • Unit: Each
  • Volume: 750ml
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Grape: 100% Chardonnay


Regions : Wellington Wine Country

In stock


Winery notes (2016 Vintage)
"The variances each vintage offers, will favour each variety in a different way.  And every year will call upon an altered approach to managing both the vine and wine.  Mostly, these are subtle changes.  I believe over the last four years we have entered a new paradigm in our approach to Chardonnay without alienating far from our traditional style.

A formidable straw golden, light yellow colour introduces this wine.  I have to go back to the 2009 when the wine expressed a similar soft and creamy nose, layered with almond nougat, ripe pineapple and golden kiwi fruit.  The wine is kept opulent and energetic with hints of freshly crushed thyme and lemon rind.  Extended time on lees, 15 months, helped to develop brioche and crème caramel like characters with added texture and weight.

A softly coated acidity allows the wine to move over the palate in a gentle matter, deceptively masking the linear and postured nature due to interaction with other textural components.  The scope and depth of flavour effortlessly captivates interest by initially showcasing almond croissant, Beurre Bosc pears and barely noticeable toast, presumably from the oak barrels.  Since little Malo-lactic acid conversion happens with this wine a lemon sorbet character allows for a long finish.  Enjoy this wine after two to five years for optimal drinking pleasure."

5 Stars Michael Cooper (2016 Vintage)
"Elegance, restraint and subtle power are the key qualities of this classic wine. It's not a bold, upfront style, but tight, savoury and seamless, with rich grapefruit and nut flavours that build in the bottle for several years. Based on low-cropping, Mendoza-clone vines in the Craighall and Dry River Estate vineyards, it is hand-harvested, whole-bunch pressed and fermented in French oak barrels (with a low percentage of new casks). The proportion of the blend that has gone through a softening malolactic fermentation has never exceeded 15 per cent. The 2016 vintage is a very 'complete' wine. Bright, light lemon/green, it is mouthfilling, with rich, ripe stone-fruit flavours, nutty, complex and finely textured, and impressive depth and harmony. Already a delicious mouthful, it should be at its best 2019+."

5 Stars & 96/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, September 2017 (2016 Vintage)
"This will evolve into a spectacular chardonnay. Youthful yet complex and engaging, the bouquet shows grapefruit, rockmelon, brioche, flint and hazelnut aromas, leading to a concentrated palate that exhibits outstanding depth and breath, wonderfully enhanced by creamy texture and bright acidity. The wine is expansive, multi-layered and symphonic. At its best: 2019 to 2028."

5 Stars & 18.5+/20 Raymond Chan, September 2017 (2016 Vintage)
"Bright, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour, lighter on the edge. The nose is soft and gently voluminous with layered aromas of white and yellow stonefruits harmoniously melded with layers of subtle creamy barrel-ferment with nutty lees and oak notes. The aromatics gently build in depth with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is firmly concentrated flavours of white and yellow stonefruits integrated with creamy barrel-ferment, nutty lees and oak elements. The mouthfeel is rounded but balanced by fresh, lacy acidity that enlivens the flavours, providing good linearity. The wine carries to a long, lingering, nuanced finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, fresh Chardonnay with subtle richness, weight and depth, and complexing nuances of barrel-ferment, nutty lees and oak. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 5+ years. Mendoza clone fruit from 20 y.o. vines in the ‘Craighall’ vineyard and 30 y.o. vines from the Dry River Estate’, indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the aged 15 months in 15% new French oak barrels with light batonnage, avoiding MLF."

94/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, November 2017 (2016 Vintage)
"Subtle pretty floral note, but mainly it’s about almond nougat, and rich spicy, almost tropical Chardonnay flavour. Medium to full-bodied, savoury and hazelnutty, with a slick creamy texture that’s whipped into shape by crackling acidity, mango and toast, and a long juicy nutty finish. A bit of power, a little rock and roll, delivered with style."

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