Awarded Classic Status.
The whole growing season was ideal apart from the period when the vines were in flower. This was the coldest and wettest December Waipara has ever experienced and as a result the number of berries setting was extremely low, resulting in the smallest crops we have seen. Because of this the wine has extra concentration and depth.
It has been made utilising traditional techniques which have made the chardonnay of the Burgundy region in France so famous. After harvest the grapes were gently pressed and the unclarified juice was put into oak barriques and puncheons (500L) made by artisan Burgundian coopers where it underwent natural fermentation by the action of the grapes' own yeasts. It was then matured in these barriques and puncheons, 30% of which were new, on its yeast lees (sur lie).
When the temperature in the cellars warmed in the spring after harvest, the wine started to undergo natural malo-lactic fermentation through the action of its indigenous micro-organisms. While all the wine commenced this secondary fermentation the exact amount which was allowed to occur in each barrique and puncheon was determined by taste. Multiple batches of chardonnay were made, each coming from a different part of the vineyard. The final wine was produced by blending these according to taste prior to bottling.
This wine is a complex blend of primary fruit and secondary wine making characters. The aromas and flavours are chiefly those of citrus fruits, yellow plums, melons, white peaches and nectarines. These are intertwined with savoury elements, hinting of barbequed and buttered sweet corn, grilled mushrooms, wood smoke, liquorice and spice. While the wine is rich and powerful it has a spine of crisp acidity, which keeps it tightly knit, elegant and focussed. There is a haunting after-taste which lingers on the palate long after swallowing. Although ready to drink on release, with careful cellaring it should continue to develop additional layers of complexity for 6-8 years after harvest and live well beyond.
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….” .