5 STARS (95/100)
2013 was an exceptional vintage in Hawkes Bay, allowing the fruit to be picked unhurried at optimal ripeness.
The grapes for this superior Chardonnay were sourced from our ultra-premium vineyard sites at Mere Road Vineyard (76%) and Te Awanga (24%).
Both parcels were handpicked between 21 and 27 March 2013, whole-bunch pressed and placed into barrel for alcoholic fermentation with specially selected yeasts.
Thereafter approximately 25% of the wine was treated to malolactic fermentation to engender enhanced and softened texture, then blended with the non-malo portion and barrel-aged (100% French, 41% new) for 10 months sur lie, with frequent stirring to release important flavour components.
A stringent barrel selection followed in January 2014 to compose the final wine, before bottling under screwcap on 28 February 2014.
This outstanding Chardonnay from superior vineyards has lovely intensity, complexity and balance. It bursts with tropical peach and nectarine flavours, interwoven with an influence of wild yeast character, judicious quality oak seasoning, and a rich creamy texture.
Already delicious, it will continue to evolve and delight with cellaring.