We have a special block of Chardonnay that comes from a little vineyard in the Awatere Valley.
The fashion for chardonnay used to be the big, buttery, oaky wine. Do we care for fashion? Pah! This is a wine that is fresh and has great fruit flavours that expresses the vineyard without the winemaker’s boots stamping all over it.
This wine has vibrant lemon lime hues. When released in February 2009, this Chardonnay was showing aromas of white peaches and grapefruit, with hints of spicy oak. The partial wild and malolatic fermentationn along with the the extended lees maturation in barrel have added complexity and texture to the palate. This has resulted in a luscious wine with good weight and fruit intensity.
Our good friends Steve & Bridget Pellet have a small plot of Chardonnay on their Awatere Valley Vineyard. Each year they bring in family and friends to help them with the hand harvesting of this fruit. I have the pleasure of turning these grapes into wine. The juice from this fruit was fermented in old oak barrels. The yeast lees in the barrels were stirred regularly over a nine month period to add weight and texture to the wine. After its time in barrel this portion was then blended with a parcel of Chardonnay from the Hawkesbury Road region of the Wairau Valley that I had fermented in stainless steel. This component has added a lovely tropical note to the wine. The blend of the two fruit parcels provides a great balance between the vibrant fruit characters that New Zealand is so famous for and the interesting textures derived from the barrel ferementation. The wine was bottled in Jan 2009. As with all my wines, this Chardonnay is best when consumed with great food & good friends!