The Puligny from Alain Chavy is bursting with ripe tropical fruit characters, balanced by a concentrated limey acidity and lick of spicy oak.
The Meursault is bright, luminous straw yellow in colour. The nose boasts a discrete touch of toast followed by elegant floral notes underpinned by fruity, light plum and pear aromas. The palate is powerful, well balanced and dense, with delicious flavours of brioche. The finish is long and very aromatic.
Packed with subtle pineapple, pears and apple flavours. This Chardonnay is big and bold with touches of lemon and delicious toasted almonds.
Alto Bajo is produced from vineyards across Chile's Valle Central by a terrific team led by winemaker Camilo Viani, who brings vitality and vision - as well as a great eye for winemaking detail.
“Alto Bajo” translates as “High Low” and reflects the varied regional landscape of Chile. This Chardonnay is deliciously fruity with lots of ripe, tropical fruit flavours but also the tiniest hint of vanilla. It matches well with the following foods: chicken, ham or bacon, pate and terrines.
Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Wairarapa, just north of Wellington. Craighall is located directly opposite the main Ata Rangi home block. The 30 year old Mendoza clone of Chardonnay vines, with their characteristic 'hen and chicken' fruit set, are always low yielding. Soils here comprise a thin layer of well-drained alluvial soil deposited on what was the original course of the river as it flowed east to the Pacific Ocean.
A fabulous summer in 2015 provided excellent conditions for ripening grapes across the country, resulting in vibrant, fruit driven wines. Yields were 27% down on the record 2014 vintage. Despite the excellent summer, the cool spring weather contributed to the marked reduction in the crop. Fruit was harvested between the 25th and 29th of March.
Hand-picked fruit was whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. Unsettled juice was fully barrel-fermented in Burgundy barriques, of which 25% was new oak, using indigenous yeasts. Fermentation took place between 15-20°C. The lees were stirred during this time in all barrels and partial malolactic fermentation occurred. The wine was aged in barrel on the lees for 12 months before bottling in July 2016.
A very alluring, restrained nose of citrus, white-flesh nectarine and citrus blossom leads onto a tight, fine palate with a subtly chalky texture. With no one, single flavour dominating, the 2015 is an intriguing, very complex and very complete Chardonnay with fabulous flow and persistence. Fully barrel fermented with 'wild' indigenous yeasts, this exceptional release has excellent cellaring potential.
Thomas Bachelder is often known as the first winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne. He has now gone out on his own, together with his wife, Mary Delaney. In their first vintage in 2009, they made three Chardonnays from three different regions - Burgundy, Niagara and Oregon. Using the same winemaking techniques in each region (wild yeasts, minimal intervention and the same barrel makers), the difference in the wines is solely down to the vineyard which makes for some very interesting blind tasting results. The Niagara Chardonnay is particularly fresh and lifted with aromas of white stone fruits, whereas the Oregon Chardonnay shows a more robust, honeyed character.
The grapes for this wine come primarily from the organically-grown Saunders Vineyard (Beamsville Bench) and the Wismer Vineyard on Twenty Mile Bench. The combination of Niagara's strongly continental climate and the Dolomitic limestone-rich soils of these vineyards, imparts great minerality and freshness to the final wine.
Years of making Chardonnay - in Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne in Burgundy, in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and in Canada's Niagara - has taught Thomas to be as natural as possible in his winemaking. Pressing of the grapes was therefore very gentle and fermentation was carried out only with wild yeasts. Malolactic fermentation took place in specially selected oak barrels, followed by an extended ageing period which has made the wine broader on the mid-palate, more integrated, elegant, subtle, truer to its terroir and, surprisingly, less oaky.
Bright lemon-yellow in colour. On the nose, lifted ripe lemon notes mix with hints of white stone fruit and flinty mineral nuances. It is medium to full bodied on the palate with a scented stone fruit character and a long and complex mineral finish.
This estate makes Italy's finest sparkling wines from its 200 hectares of vineyard situated in the western part of the Franciacorta zone in a natural amphitheatre. The glacial soil is full of stones, and provides the ideal environment for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes used in the production of their Franciacorta. Bellavista, meaning 'beautiful view' in Italian, was founded by Vittorio Moretti in the early 1970s, with the first vintage produced in 1979. In 1981, he met a young winemaker, Mattia Vezzola and this partnership transformed Bellavista into Italy's leading producer of quality sparkling wine.
Bellavista has chosen 190 hectares of vines in 10 communes within the Franciacorta DOCG. The vineyards have some of the best exposure, character and expressive potential in the area. This has given rise to 107 small crus that express the intrinsic personality of the land and the subtle nuances of its character and personality. This wine is made from fruit coming from the vineyard at the Convento dell'Annunciata, which has been cultivated by the monks there since 1449. Now in the hands of Bellavista and planted entirely with Chardonnay, this 5.15 hectare vineyard is a rich mix of sand, silty soil and clay with limestone.
The spring was cool with adequate rainfall, which continued until June. From then onwards, drought conditions kicked in, lasting until mid September. Bud break took place in most vineyards at the normal time. The weather during harvest, which began as usual in early September and lasted through to the end of October, was mild. Rain towards the end of harvest meant that a careful selection of grapes was required. The 2012 wines are well-balanced with notable structure and richness.
Made in the traditional method, the must was fermented in small, three to four year old oak barrels where it remained for 12 months. The wine was bottled during the second spring after harvest, it then rested for a further year in bottle before release.
This sparkling wine is deep straw yellow in colour, with youthful highlights. The nose is broad and appealing, with hints of ripe fruit, especially apricot and pineapple. It has an attractive and elegant vanilla note and a marked mineral vein. Displaying excellent balance and freshness on the palate, it has a long, tangy finish.
This estate makes Italy's finest sparkling wines from its 200 hectares of vineyard situated in the western part of the Franciacorta zone in a natural amphitheatre. The glacial soil is full of stones, and provides the ideal environment for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes used in the production of their Franciacorta. Bellavista meaning 'beautiful view' in Italian was founded by Vittorio Moretti in the early 1970s, with the first vintage produced in 1979. In 1981, he met a young winemaker, Mattia Vezzola and this partnership transformed Bellavista into Italy's leading producer of quality sparkling wine.
Bellavista has chosen 190 hectares of vines in 10 communes within the Franciacorta DOCG. The vineyards have some of the best exposure, character and expressive potential in the area. This has given rise to 107 small crus that express the intrinsic personality of the land and the subtle nuances of its character and personality. The grapes come from the Uccellanda vineyard, 4.14 hectares in size, in the Commune of Corte Franca at approximately 300 metres above sea level. The subsoil comprises glacial deposits of silt, sand and gravel that are rich in carbonate.
Harvest took place when the grapes reached optimum ripeness and were carefully selected on the vine. The must was fermented for 12 months in 228 litre barrels. The wine was bottled in the second spring after harvest and was matured for a further six months in bottle before release.
Yellow in colour with golden highlights. Lifted perfumes of Golden delicious apples, quince and ripe fruits with a hint of vanilla. On the palate, it is rich and elegant and finishes long.
Classic Clarksburg personality shines through in the green apple and pear notes, while a bit more tropical pineapple breezes by. The rich mouthfeel created by aging on the lees abounds mid-palate, while the finish is wrapped in creamy textures and tones from the malolactic fermentation. Spicy American oak notes of butterscotch and vanilla are the perfect balance to the freshness and acidity of this multifaceted wine.
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition review of New Zealand Chardonnay (see blue link below).
It’s 20 years now since Steve and Barbara Green established the first of Carrick’s vineyard plantings on the Cairnmuir terraces at Bannockburn in Central Otago, extending the estate four years later. What was at the time a tangle of wild thyme and briar roses has become one of the region’s most successful producers. Francis Hutt wisely spent a year in the vineyards with viticulturist Blair Deaker before taking over as Carrick’s winemaker in 2011. A devotee of organic and biodynamic wines, he took particular pride in taking charge of Carrick’s first organic bottlings in 2012. Meanwhile, Steve Green somehow combines the roles of owner, general manager, assistant winemaker, marketer and overseas traveller with a position on the board of Wine New Zealand.
After gentle whole-bunch pressing, the chardonnay juice was gravity feed into French oak barrels, (10% new) with a high grape solids content to add interest and texture. All lots were fermented with indigenous yeast and the barrels were stirred daily during fermentation then left to rest and settle over the winter months.
Tropical fruits along with the cool climate attributes of Central Otago combine to make a truly amazing Chardonnay that could rival anything else in the world. It is a flinty elegant wine with good structure and balance. Barrel fermented in French oak.
Perfect with seafood and white meat dishes like chicken pie, prawn linguine and dover sole.
This wine is remarkable from start to finish, beginning with an aromatic and complex nose of pear, apricot, almond and lemon cream. Subtle hints of white flowers and warm, smoky notes follow. The palate is full and concentrated, with citrus, honey, vanilla, nutmeg and toast.
A deliciously rich, broad, tropical fruit flavoured wine made with grapes from prime low-yielding vines given long, cool fermentation with natural wild yeast and aged in 100% French oak barrels.
Cave de l''Aurore have been producing good quality, consistent Mâcon-Villages since 1926, sourced from vineyard sites that were established by the clergy between the years 875 and 910. The vineyards are situated around the village of Lugny and benefit from a predominantly southern exposure. The wine is vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks to retain the fresh, delicate flavours of the grapes.
Pale gold in colour with a subtle nose of tropical fruit and refined oak. The palate is well balanced with ripe fruit and fresh well balanced acidity. The finish is long and concentrated with hints of apples and a touch of creaminess.
This wine is a great match with grilled sea bass, mango, grapefruit and avocado salad, potato, spinach and red bell pepper salad with warm bacon vinaigrette or steamed fish fillets with scallion-ginger oil.
Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentinian whites (see blue link below).
The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has earned its place as a pioneering winery in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. True to its origins, today Trapiche is in a continuous quest for the latest best practices. Led by Daniel Pi, Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand
The grapes are hand harvested in the early hours of the morning, when the sea breeze still rests on the berries. The fruit is carefully selected from the vines that produce highly-concentrated grapes. The juice undergoes cold skin maceration for 24 hours followed by pneumatic pressing. Ageing takes place in French oak barrels for 7 months, achieving a more complex aromatic profile. The wine is clarified, stabilised, filtered and bottled.
An elegant wine, lemon in colour with slight greenish tones. It has notes of green apples, pear, citrus fruits and hints of nuts & broiche. Delicate on the palate with marked minerality and a long, delicious finish.
We like it because it's a beautiful New World Chardonnay from an unexpected nation (albeit from a famous producer there). Decanter loved it, and it has the stamp of a wine twice its value.