The Matawhero journey started with two New Zealand wine pioneers from the 1960s, Bill and son Denis Irwin. Today the story continues around the drive and determination of Kirsten and Richard Searle, who have continued to develop the iconic winery and share the distinctive wine styles of the Gisborne region.
Winery notes (2021 Vintage)
"The grapes for this elegant Gisborne Chardonnay are grown from two select parcels from the Briant and Tietjen vineyards. Lovely golden colour in the glass. Ripe peach and melon layered with butterscotch and toasty oak notes. The palate is big, rich and full with great length and weight."
Rated Excellent & 94/100 Cameron Douglas MS, April 2022 (2021 Vintage)
"The distinctive nutty richness, aromas of baked stone fruits then dried grapefruit peel and brazil-nut butter all point to chardoonay. Aromas of nectarine and peach, baked apple and burnt butter, a clay earthy quality and youthful energy. Full-bodied, with a satin-cream texture, salivating acidity and fine wood tannins deliver a delicious mouthfell. This is still a youthful wine and will benefit from some cellar time. Well made and legthy with best drinking from early 2023 through 2029."
5 Stars & 94/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, April 2022 (2021 Vintage)
"Splendidly styled and complex, showing golden peach, nougat, oatmeal and cedar aromas, leading to a wonderfully flavoursome palate offering excellent weight and richly textured mouthfeel. Generous and opulent, while remaining balanced and harmonious with a lingering creamy finish. At its best: now to 2028."
Reviews for the previous vintage below…
5 Stars & 19.0-/20 (95) Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, May 2021 (2020 Vintage)
Bright, even, pale yellow with some depth and a green hue. The nose is softly full, youthful aromas of lemon sherbet, pineapple melded with toasted nuts, crusty baguette and creamy lees are in well-proportions. Medium-full bodied, vibrant aromas of lemon, sherbet and pineapple entwined with buttered popcorn, baguette and toasted hazelnuts. Creamy lees haul along a chalky palate with excellent acid tension, lends a long, lively finish. The fruit has lovely concentration and acid balance; cleverly use of oak, enriched with a toasty nut element and a fulsome palate. This is a youthful, harmonious Chardonnay with great acid tension presented on a chalky palate, already delicious with excellent ageing potential. Match with pork chops and barbeque tiger prawns over the next 8 years. Fruit sourced from Tietjen's vineyard in the Hexton Hills (Gloden Slopes), dry-farmed, Medoza clone, machine-harvested portion fermented in tank, full MLF, 4 months on lees, then transferred to barrels for further ageing before blending. The handpicked portion was fermented in a combination of American and European barrels, full MLF. Vegan friendly."