Elephant Hill are well and truly establishing themselves as one of the star wineries in the Hawkes Bay gaining recognition and accolades for many of their wines. The Elephant Hill Chardonnay 2018 is outstanding, showing fantastic presence, length, balance and texture. It has a fruit purity at its core but it is very much a multi layers Chardonnay with well judged savoury elements.
Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"Chardonnay is our flagship white variety at Elephant Hill. Both our Te Awanga and Triangle vineyards have the ideal sub-climates to grow this variety. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed to 228L oak barriques, 28% new. This Chardonnay purposely did not go through malolactic fermentation and remained in barrel and on lees for 12 months. This is an elegant and concentrated Chardonnay that combines vibrant citrus and stone-fruit characters with wonderful texture and finish."
5 Stars & 93/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, July 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"It’s gorgeously complex and inviting on the nose showing golden peach, vanilla, lemon peel and roasted hazelnut characters. The palate displays excellent weight and intensity, together with creamy texture and bright acidity, making it wonderfully harmonious and flavoursome. At its best: now to 2023."
4 Stars & 18/20 Candice Chow for Raymond Chan Reviews, June 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"Bright, even, medium yellow with a golden-green hue. The nose is softly-full and elegant with flavours of melon and stonefruit, along with light cream and a subtle butter tone; entwined with cashew nuts and a dusty layer of oak element. Medium-bodied, dry to taste, with flavours of honeydew melon, stonefruit and citrus, along with cream, cashew and oak spice element. The palate is creamy with a lightness; lively acidity balanced the creaminess and flows gracefully to a linear finish with a dusting of oak spices on a light and soft phenolic texture. This is a well-rounded Chardonnay with balanced acidity, carries the right proportion flavours of fruit, nuts and cream with elegance. Match with chicken ballotine and prawns over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from Te Awanga and Triangle Vineyard. Whole bunch pressed to ferment in French oak barriques, 28% new oak. 12.8% alc. No MLF, aged on lees for 12 months."
92/100 Cameron Douglas MS, June 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"There’s no mistaking the signature of balance, weight and complexity in all the wines produced at Elephant Hill Hill. This Chardonnay is no exception with aromas and flavours of sweet red apple, white peach and apricot, there’s a tease of tropical fruit then unmistakable moments of oak and related wood spices – not too verbose – just enough to notice their impact. Quite silky in texture on the palate with balanced acidity then a return of all the flavours suggested on the nose. tasted over two days the wine became silky and more relaxed than 24 hours before. Balanced and well made with a decent length and medium complexity. best drinking from today and through 2022."
Reviews for the 2017 vintage below…
4 ½ Stars Michael Cooper (2017 Vintage)
"The tightly structured, vigorous 2017 vintage was estate-grown at Te Awanga (90 per cent) and in the Bridge Pa Triangle (10 per cent), and fermented and matured for a year in French oak casks (25 per cent new). It has a fragrant, complex bouquet, leading into a full-bodied wine with good intensity of fresh grapefruit and peach flavours, integrated toasty oak, and a crisp, long finish. Best drinking 2021+."