2013 Church Road Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay
Vintage 2013 in New Zealand, and in the Hawke’s bay area in particular was exceptionally good for wine production. A long, warm, and stable summer made the life of wine growers easy, allowing to ripen the fruit safely and to harvest at the optimal time.
For background information about the winery, visit the profile page of Church Road Winery.
This Chardonnay is a blend of grapes grown around the Hawke’s Bay region, from various valley vineyards: Korokipo Vineyard (alluvial silt-based
soils, 24%), Omarunui Vineyard (shallow silt and clay over gravel in the Tutaikuri River Valley, 32%), Brooklands Vineyard (moderately shallow silt and clay over gravel inland of Napier, 10%), Tuki Tuki Vineyard (shallow soils over a hard clay pan, 21%) and Fernhill Vineyard (deep alluvial silt loams, 12%).
The fruit is machine harvested, but the winery emphasizes on keeping the skin contact to a minimum to preserve balance and freshness. The juice is not entirely clarified, keeping the solids level relatively high to provide length and depth to the wine. 25% of the final blend was barrel fermented in French and Hungarian oak providing body and oak flavours yet preserving primary fruit characteristics.
Appearance: Mid-lemon, a bid of gold. Bright and shiny.
Nose: Very spicy, cedar wood, nutmeg, with a strong and quite dominant hazelnut note. Also cream and lees aromas. White flowers, a touch of honey. Fruit flavours quite hidden behind the spices and hazelnut. But dried apricots, orange peel complement the spectrum. Overall, it smells like a dried-fruits and nuts cake, quite buttery, rich and caramely.
Palate: Good, solid acidity driving the palate all along, though declining slightly on the finish. Mid-to-low body, but there’s enough weight to complement the acidity. Finish is crisp, with a dominant bitterness kicking in toward the end, together with slightly oxidised lees characteristics. Flavours are also dominated by hazelnut, almost walnut here, spices, and these almost sherry-like flavours of yeast and lees. Rather long finish, on vanilla and spices.
Overall, a very pleasant wine. Rich and spicy, yet fresh and easy-to-drink thanks to its acidity backbone.
Further info on churchroad.co.nz
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