Awarded Classic Status.
Warm weather in early spring resulted in leaves on the vines bursting earlier than usual, which ultimately lead to a longer growing and ripening season, which had an important influence on the eventual wine. The summer was hot, but the nights cool. Combined with a long, lingering autumn this produced perfect conditions for ripening grapes, while retaining good acidity.
This wine was made from the Mendoza clone of chardonnay, which is particularly prone to "millerandage" (big and small berries on the same bunch). In 1999 most of the berries were tiny, which caused marked concentration of aroma, flavour and body.
After picking, the whole berries were gently pressed and the juice all fermented in Burgundian oak barriques, of which 30% were new. It was then allowed to age "sur lie" (its yeast lees). It underwent natural malo-lactic fermentation the following spring by the action of indigenous malo-lactic bacteria. It has subsequently been aged in bottle prior to release.
The wine shows a complex intertwining of fruity and savoury characters. There are impressions of ripe apricots, peaches and dried figs, blended with nuances of grilled meat and mushrooms. It is concentrated and rich, but has a buttery, smooth texture, crisp acidity to keep it focussed and a long, lingering after-taste.
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….” .