4 STARS (91pts)
The grapes of superior budwood clones for this classical variety were sourced from a selection of vineyards in the Hawkes Bay: the sandy soils in the Meeanee district, the low vigour, free draining alluvial loams of Crownthorpe and Maraekakaho, and the gravelly soils of Gimblett Gravels wine growing region.
Harvested between 26th and 29th March 2015, the fruit arrived in the winery in excellent condition at just under 22° Brix.
Each vineyard parcel was vinified separately. The wine was 93% barrel fermented, with 40% undergoing malolactic fermentation to achieve a smooth
buttery texture. Thereafter the barrel-aged parcel spent six months in oak (76% French, 24% American, of which 24% was new wood), with frequent lees
stirring for enhanced complexity. The final wine was composed from selected batches to achieve the desired wine style, then rested before bottling under
screwcap during late November 2015.
This intriguing Chardonnay is a finely balanced blend of our very best Hawkes Bay vineyards. Full, rich and creamy, it tantalises with intense apricot and
grapefruit flavours, complimented with butterscotch and flinty fresh lemon-lime notes. Maturation in quality oak barrels has further contributed spicy nutmeg
and vanilla accents. Complex and vibrant, this wine is immediately appealing, and will also greatly reward cellaring over the medium term.