We may stand accused of shamelessly chasing the ever-moving goalposts of the Chardonnay style bandwagon. So be it. Our clean, lean fruit driven examples of many years have been superseded by somewhat more rounded wines which show a little more oak, a lot more MLF influence and when circumstances permit, spend more time in barrel. We are rather pleased with the results.
The colour is a rich royal gold so it is no surprise that the nose is bold and complex. Bright grapefruit, soft ripe avocados, kiwi crush and butterscotch are bandied about by more mealy notes of grilled chestnut, grated nutmeg, flowering briar and wild oats. Further down the long corridors of power the old world charm kicks in: a thin scraping of vegemite, some black truffle oil and a tantalising hint of the bilge water from a clinker built dingy. Finally a sting of fine Kauri dust flying free from a hot belt sander.
The palate is defined by its power; subtle yet absolute. Under the cover of night this clandestine wine will sidle up with a nonchalant approachability while nimble fingers draw you in deeper and deeper. The fruit is peacherine and baked pear followed by spiced apple and glacé cherry. The texture is rich and creamy while the structure broad and bare chested. The mildly assertive yet seamless acidity snakes its way back into the deepest recesses where the agile backbone gives an urbane assurance. Imagine chewing strips of wildebeest biltong between sips of this versatile Chardonnay.
The fruit for this vintage was again hand harvested at perfect ripeness and processed in the finest French barriques following their traditional vinification processes. Coloured straw-yellow, this wine has a pleasant nose of spicy, nutty oak, overlaid with peaches and nectarines. This combination is carried through to the palate, producing the classic taste of ripe stone fruit with a hint of oak. Complexity was added through a secondary malolactic fermentation giving a lush, buttery finish to the wine. This wine remains true to the traditional characteristics of Chardonnay produced in the Gladstone, Wairarapa district.
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