Awarded Classic Status.
The pattern of the weather during the growing season was similar to that of the previous year, but even more marked. That is to say, the summer was not overly hot, leading to the development of excellent cool climate chardonnay aromas and flavours, with the retention of good levels of good acid in the grapes. Then followed the most perfect, lingering autumn with warm, dry, calm days. The growing season was thus lengthened and when the fruit was picked it was beautifully ripe and in perfect condition.
This wine is made from the Mendoza clone of chardonnay, which in a bunch typically produces only a few large berries and many small ones in a bunch, so called hen and chickens. It is recognised to produce New Zealand‚s finest and richest chardonnays. After picking, the berries were gently pressed without prior crushing, to help avoid undue hardness. The unclarified juice was then put into French oak barriques, 25% of which were new, and allowed to undergo fermentation naturally without controlling the temperature. When this was complete the wine was allowed to rest in these barriques on its yeast lees, which underwent regular battonage or stirring, in order to keep the wine fresh. When the weather warmed the following spring, wild malo-lactic or secondary fermentation commenced through the action of the wine's indigenous bacteria. This was allowed to proceed until its special characters complimented and enhanced the wine without dominating it, the final balance being decided by taste.
Initial impressions of ripe stone fruits and melon give way to an array of savoury aromas and flavours, reminiscent of grilled and buttered sweet-corn. The wine expands in the mouth, becoming rich, generous and full. In spite of this it is tightly focused with a citrusy backbone and a tantalising after-taste. While ready to drink on release, it can be expected to improve with careful cellaring, peaking in about 4-5 years and living 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….” .