Awarded Classic Status.
This was one of our cooler summers, although by leaving the grapes on the vines until later in the season we achieved excellent ripeness with good natural acidity. A modest crop level has contributed to structure and body in the wine.
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 plants are from 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/May and then gently pressed. The non-clarified juice was put into 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. A further period of maturation preceded bottling.
The wine exudes enticing aromas and flavours suggesting citrus fruits, nectarines, white fleshed peaches, and ripe figs. Underlying savoury nuances hint at toasted almonds, barbecued sweet corn and grilled mushrooms. It is rich and powerful in the mouth but retains a broad shouldered muscularity and austerity. There is a core of flinty minerality and grape fruity acidity that keep the wine tight knit, focused and help draw out its lingering aftertaste. With careful cellaring over the next 5 – 10 years it should develop a range of additional fascinating nuances.
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….” .