"We are committed to showcasing know-how and talent by bringing together the new generation with centuries-old Burgundian traditions. Wood, a never-ending source of inspiration, is a part of all of the steps that go into the crafting of our wines."
Located in the heart of the Côte de Beaune, Meursault is one of the flagship villages and among the most reputed in Burgundy. In fact, Meursault is often referred to as the capital of Burgundy’s great whites.
The grapes are handpicked and fermentation takes place in oak barrels (35% of which are new) for between 3 weeks and 2 months. The wine is then aged in oak (20% new barrels) for 12 to 15 months.
This white 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. This is ideal with fine fish, shellfish, white meats, poultry in sauce and full-flavoured cheeses.
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. This wine, which is not one of their sparkling wines, is made using Chardonnay and is a fantastic example of a wine from this region.
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.
Though the Bogle family has been farming in the Clarksburg region for six generations, their involvement in the wine business spans back 50 years. In addition to passing down a strong work ethic and dedication to quality, the success of Bogle over the years is rooted in the day-to-day involvement of the Bogle family. The family takes great pride in making wines of exceptional character and quality. From vineyard to bottle, the highest standards are set, in order to create a wine that overdelivers each and every time.
To see an excellent tasting / information sheet from Bogle themselves, please click on the blue link below.
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.
Intensely floral with frangipani and jasmine aromas combining with the fruity notes of apricot and quince. Generous and lively on the palate with exotic flavours of tropical fruit and fresh cardamom, this wine has a balanced structure and a persistent finish.
During the 1990’s, Bodega Catena Zapata set new standards for Argentine wine. In an effort to produce a super-premium wine, the winemaking team of Catena began in-depth investigation into the yields from specially selected, high altitude vineyards, identifying the individual lots that produce the best fruit.
These vines undergo a careful thinning process, leaving only a select few clusters, resulting in remarkably complex, aromatic and flavorful fruit. Through the application of natural techniques, these grapes are transformed into Catena Alta. The Catena Alta Chardonnay is produced from two of the Catena family vineyards - Adrianna, at almost 5,000 feet elevation and Domingo, at 3,700 feet elevation. The Adrianna vineyard's pebble covered soil and cool climate are ideal for growing Chardonnay. The fruit from Adrianna has a purity of flavors and a minerality that is particular to this vineyard and cannot be found anywhere else in Mendoza. Meanwhile, the sandy loam soils of the Domingo vineyard contribute white stone fruit and good acid balance. This Chardonnay is 100% barrel-fermented in French oak with aggressive battonage.
The Catena Alta Chardonnay presents an intenese greenish-yellow color. The nose offers ripe white fruit aromas such as pears and peaches that are interwoven with delicate citrus and floral notes, such as Jasmine. The palate shows rich and concentrated ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of minerality. The wine finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.
See/click the link below for data on this wine from the winemakers themselves.
This wine has the unique expression of cool and high altitude vineyard sites. Tupungato vineyards lend citrus notes with a crisp finish and a rich unctuous mouthfeel. The wine has a beautiful pear and citrus flavors with crisp fresh minerality. The wine is a delicate greenish color with light yellow notes. The aroma is of fresh white peaches and pineapples and jasmine and magnolia. The mouthfeel is tangible and rich yet clean and fresh on the finish.
See/click the link below for more data from the winemakers themselves.
The Catena Chardonnay combines the unique expressions of three high altitude vineyard sites. The wine shows an intense greenish color with yellow notes. The extraordinary combination of these vineyards offer honey and tropical fruit flavors while lending notes of citrus, pears, peaches, and white flowers with a strong minerality and a delicated note of vanilla. The mouthfeel is clean, with a fresh, clean acidity.
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.
The producer says: "Eve is pure, tempting, and undeniably Washington State. With fresh, fruity flavors and a crisp, bright mouth feel reminiscent of Washington State’s famous apples, this dry Chardonnay has been winning awards ever since its grapes left the garden. Some say Adam and Eve taught the rest of us about good and evil. Which explains how, today, we know damn well that our Eve Chardonnay is wickedly good".
More conventionally expressed: This wine is made by Charles Smith, a self–taught winemaker who brings his rock and roll spirit to the vineyards of Walla Walla, Washington. As a romantic young man, Charles Smith moved across the world to Denmark to follow his love for his girlfriend at the time. In Scandinavia, he became a recognized manager for rock bands such as The Raveonettes. While travelling on the road with these bands, he developed his passion for wine. In 1999, he moved back to Washington, opened a wine store and became friendly with a French winemaker, later convincing him to move to Walla Walla to make wine together.
Dry, creamy and smooth, with a multitude of flavours and aromas. Hibiscus flower, stone fruit, apple blossom & a touch of lemon cream, asian pears, crisp apple, and lemon curd with minerality... they're all here! Long, minerally and delicious.
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2018 edition review of the 2016 vintage of the Maconnais village appellations (see blue link below)
Château de Chaintré is run by young winemaker Yannick Paquet. Yannick is the son of Jean-Paul and Monique Paquet, who established themselves in Pouilly-Fuissé in 1959. Together the family owns three Pouilly-Fuissé domaines and have been making wines since 1971.
Yannick's domaine, Château de Chaintré, consists of four hectares of Pouilly-Fuissé vines with an average age of 35 years. It is located in Chaintré, with the altitude of the vineyard at 200-300 metres, providing lifted perfumes and crisp acidity. The south and south-west exposure on the limestone and clay soils gives the wine the ripeness and weight that is characteristic of Pouilly Fuissé. The Paquets practice sustainable viticulture or la lutte raisonnée; they apply organic fertiliser annually according to the needs of every plot. Meticulous leaf plucking to increase airflow and exposure to sunlight is employed to combat fungal diseases instead of using sprays.
After the grapes are hand-harvested, they are sorted to ensure only the healthiest and ripest grapes are vinified. The grapes are pressed gently with a pneumatic press before being put into stainless steel tanks to settle and ferment using indigenous yeasts. The wines are then aged in 90% stainless steel and 10% oak barrels (50% new and 50% second- and third-fill) for 11 months on their fine lees to add depth and complexity.
Fresh and fruity, this Pouilly-Fuissé has an excellent balance between ripe stone fruit aromas and delicate mineral characters from the limestone clay soil.
Château Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, the focus from the onset has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since it was purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.
Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity whilst ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle.
2017 was notable for the drastic fires that spread across large areas of Chile in the first part of the year. Fortunately there was no damage to the Cachapoal Andes area. A generally warm summer produced ripe fruit flavours and the grape harvest started earlier than usual.
The Chardonnay grapes were macerated in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation took place over three weeks at temperatures between 13-15°C. No malolactic fermentation took place, and the wine spent a further three months in stainless steel tanks prior to bottling.
Bright pale yellow in colour, this wine has aromas of tropical fruit, apricots and pears. Lively and fresh acidity complements the wine’s persistent fruitiness and elegant finish.
This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the first five wine makers to venture into Marlborough. At the time, it was almost an unimaginable place to set-up a vineyard but Cloudy Bay’s founder, David Hohnen, was convinced of its potential to produce great wine and invested in the best land of the region. The winery was named after Cloudy Bay, a body of water explorer Captain James Cook found during his voyage to New Zealand in 1770. His discovery coincided with flooding in the region, which washed large amounts of sediment into the sea. Noticing the water’s opaque appearance, Cook christened the area Cloudy Bay.
Powerful and exotic, the 2015 Chardonnay is an embodiment of the artistry and the craft of Cloudy Bay. The grapes are sourced from four vineyard blocks located in separated sub-regions: Brancott, Fairhall, Ben Morven and Central Wairau Valley. The vines are planted on a mix of free-draining gravel and loam based soils.
In 2015 there was an immediate clarity of Chardonnay flavour from the moment that the fruit was received in the winery. The harvest season commenced on March 13th and culminated on March 31st.
After gentle pressing, the juice was pumped into barrels. The vinification utilised naturally occurring yeast populations to undergo a wild fermentation. A portion of the wine was fermented with full solids in order to build additional texture and complexity in the wine. After fermentation the wine rested in French oak barrel for one year of maturation.
Jim White, Technical Director at Cloudy Bay says the following of Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2015: "The 2015 Chardonnay is savoury and complex, a wine whose deftly woven aromatics give way to power on the palate."
The aromas include exotic flavours of orange blossom and preserved lemon with an undertow of smokey lees character. The flavour has the classic characters of zesty grapefruit and citrus rind. The wine lingers with roasted hazelnut notes and linseed flavours on the finish.