Cameron Douglas(94 points)
Nicely complex and alluring bouquet with aromas of ripe white and yellow fleshed stone fruits, red apple, quince, honeysuckle and grapefruit. Other aromas stem from oak with scents of vanilla and baking spices - vanilla and a touch of clove. There’s a fine toasty quality as well adding complexity and depth. On the palate - weighty, smooth and fine with a satin cream texture, contrasting acidity and bite of oak. Flavours of fruits are at the core with tree, stone and citrus fruits all speaking. Coming into balance, refreshing and lengthy.
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 it was plucked from.
AROMA & FLAVOUR
Delicious aromas of red apple and white nectarine are interwoven with grapefruit pith and notes of candied mango. These are supported by nougat notes and complex hints of brazil nuts and toffee. This wine is soft and smooth with a lovely polished feel. Plenty of wild fermentation has made it textural and complex whilst retaining fresh, bright acidity. The flavours are mouthfilling and give way to a long, juicy finish.
The season started cool and unsettled, but temperatures quickly warmed up leading to an early, quick flowering. The last substantial rainfall of summer was on 17th December and after that Marlborough dried out. This wasn’t obvious early in January as ash drifting across from the Australian bushfires resulted in a lot of cooler cloudy weather to keep the vineyards green. However, the season warmed up heading into February, . In the last week or so the nights cooled off, allowing extra time for flavour development heading into harvest. Apart from the stress caused by virus, the actual harvest was a breeze with some of the best condition fruit we have ever seen.
The fruit for this wine came from the beautiful Meadowbank Estate vineyard in the Taylor’s Pass area of Marlborough’s Southern Valleys. The grapes were harvested carefully by hand and machine, then taken to the winery for fermentation using a variety of techniques. Whole cluster pressed portions went directly into French oak barrels for a wild ferment on high solids. Other portions were tank fermented and some were cold settled and partially tank fermented and then sent to barrels mid-ferment. The yeast lees in the barrels were stirred frequently over a nine month period to add body and complexity, and the wine underwent full malolactic fermentation to lower the acid profile. After its extended nap in the barrels, the various parcels were pumped back to tank, blended then bottled.
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