Awarded Classic Status.
The spring was cool but the weather was warm. There was a period of cooler weather again in early autumn but the time leading up to the harvest was mild and dry. These conditions lead to a small crop of grapes which has given the wine concentration. In addition it was made completely from the Mendoza clone, which traditionally produces a richer style due to the tendency to hen and chicken or millerandage. With this there are many small berries and only a few large ones in each bunch.
The grapes were harvested late in the season to ensure optimal ripeness. The whole berries were then gently pressed and the partially clarified juice was then put into French oak barriques, 25% of which were new, and allowed to undergo natural fermentation by the action of the grapes' own yeast. The wine was then kept in these barrels on its yeast deposit (sur lie) for 1 year. During this time there was regular stirring of the lees or battonage. In the spring after harvest, it underwent spontaneous malo-lactic fermentation by the action of its indigenous micro-organisms.
The strict adherence to Burgundian techniques is apparent in this wine and it is an intriguing blend of both fruity and savoury elements. There are impressions of peaches, yellow plums, melon and fresh figs, intermingled with those of barbequed sweet cornm grilled mushrooms and butterscotch. It is rich in the mouth but yet has tightness and focus with a core of minerality and a tangy, fresh finish. Whil ready to drink on release, with careful cellaring it should develop additional nuances and complexities over the ensuing 5-7 years 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….” .