Awarded Classic Status.
The season was influenced by La Nina weather conditions, resulting in a very mild spring, a warm summer with high sunshine hours and a long, lingering autumn. In spite of being dry we had infrequent, but well spaced showers keeping the vines very happy. At picking the fruit was in beautiful condition and was physiologically ripe.
The vines, which are almost 30 years old, grow on their own roots in well-drained stony soil on a series of north facing, gradually descending terraces. The site is warm during the day but cool at night, resulting in good ripening while retaining the grape’s natural acids. The variety from which this wine is made is an old, low cropping, clone that is prone to having a mixture of small and large berries on the same bunch. It typically produces chardonnay with good concentration and depth.
We use traditional Burgundian winemaking methods. The fruit was picked in stages during April and then gently pressed. The non-clarified juice was put on to large French oak barrels (puncheons), 70% of which were old in order to limit pickup of oak flavour. In these it underwent primary fermentation by the grapes indigenous yeasts. The wine was then matured in the puncheons on its natural yeast deposit (sur lie). In the summer after harvest it started to go through spontaneous secondary (malolactic) fermentation. It was regularly tasted during this time and the fermentation was stopped when the ideal balance was obtained. A further period of maturation preceded bottling.
On release it has a pale lemon colour. The generous aromas and flavours evoke impressions of citrus fruits, nectarines and yellow plums intertwined with savoury elements that suggest barbecued sweet corn, grilled mushrooms and buttered toast. The wine is rich and mouth filling but has a spine of tingling acidity and minerality that keep it tight knit and focused. It has a lingering, tangy aftertaste. With careful cellaring, it can be expected to develop a range of other nuances over the next 5 – 6 years and live for a decade or more.
Awarded Classic Status.
"Although wine makers Matthew and Lynnette look as though they have just got in from an all night rave they are presently producing some of New Zealand’s most exhilarating, Burgundy inspired white wines...".
“..complexity builds as the wine rests on the palate; specific use of oak adds texture and length.A great wine that teases the palate in all the right ways..”
“…The wine has a linear core following a fine, textural thread, unveiling layers of savoury stonefruit and nutty detail with subtle oak and minerally nuances as it carries to a long, softly refreshing finish. This is a complex-flavoured savoury, stonefruit and nutty Chardonnay with excellent vitality and fresh acidity . . .”.
This Chardonnay comes from North Canterbury’s best known winery, Pegasus Bay, whose reputation has been forged on making great whites – particularly full bodied Rieslings but also exceptional good Chardonnays, which can age well. This is due to the cool climate delivering grapes with vibrant acidity, which preserves these lovely fleshy whites.
One of the best NZ Chardonnays I’ve tasted this year. This youthful Chardonnay is taut and linear, focused and elegant. It gives attractive flinty sulphide-derived characters, as well as white stone fruit. New French oak adds a hazelnutty layer. High level of concentration in mouth suggests low yields, and combined with a long finish, this Chardonnay exudes quality.
“…Reticent, pure aromas of lemon peel, lime, minerals and white pepper. Densely packed and subtly complex, with citrus and nectarine flavors complemented by spicy oak and a captivating leesy quality that contributes texture as well as another flavor element. More Burgundy than New World in style in spite of its mid-palate sweetness….” .
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