Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2021 edition article, Weekday Wines (see blue link below for the review).
Villa Maria, Taylors Pass Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018 - June 2021 Decanter review
"A supple and pure Chardonnay with delicate fruit reminiscent of sweet nectarine, fig and citrus. Wild yeast, barrel fermentation and time on lees have imbued the wine with additional layers of texture and savory, oatmeal-like flavors, but the winemaking does not dominate the fruit. The creamy midpalate is given definition on the lengthy finish by a racy line of citrus-like acidity". 92 points. Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous, Nov 2020.
It is not easy to tell your Dad that you are quitting a career in carpentry to try your hand at making wine. But in 1961, at the age of 21, that’s exactly what Sir George Fistonich did. He leased five acres of land from his father, planted one acre with grapes and started making wine under the name ‘Villa Maria’. Since those first cuttings took hold in the soil out in Mangere, near Auckland, Sir George has been determined to be at the cutting edge of quality winegrowing.
Sir George Fistonich, Founder and Owner “Uppermost in my mind as we grow is that we should maintain the principles with which we started over 50 years ago: the pursuit of quality, innovation and passion for a particular style that is New Zealand. Above all, we want to make wines that everyone can enjoy, everywhere.” Still 100% New Zealand and family owned, Villa Maria Estate has gone from strength to strength over the last 50 years. Villa Maria Estate has claimed the title of New Zealand’s Most Awarded Winery for over forty consecutive years.
The Taylors Pass Vineyard is located on the Awatere River in Marlborough, predominantly dry and influenced by cool coastal breezes and winds from Mt Tapuae-o-Uenuku. Soils range from silt over gravels, to stony gravels, with large greywacke river stones that reflect heat to assist with even fruit ripening. The vines were planted in 1999 mostly on free draining stony soils experiencing high sunshine hours regulated by the cooling ocean influence, elongating ripening.
100% barrel fermented, 49% wild fermentation. Matured for 11 months on lees.
The 2018 growing season started with an excellent spring and a strong flowering period which was followed by a long spell of hot weather with regular rainfall events through the summer months. With ample soil moisture, the harvest started earlier than the previous two vintages, luckily the cooler autumn weather helped retain natural acidities as the season progressed.
For this Villa Maria wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Villa Maria, Taylors Pass Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018 - fiche technique
This is a mineral-driven style of Chardonnay, showcasing complex aromas of brioche, gun-smoke and ripe lemon rind that are distinctive from the stony Taylors Pass Vineyard. This elegant Chardonnay expresses flavours of grapefruit, fig, quince and roasted almonds with a restrained and focused acidity on the finish.