It might seem a no-brainer to choose the cheaper of two
delicious chardonnays from the same producer, especially when
one is almost twice the price of the other.
However, it depends on what you are looking for: while the
less expensive Neudorf Nelson chardonnay is the one to enjoy
now and over the next year or so, the finer, more complex
Moutere has an enviable track record as one of New Zealand's
best and is worth cellaring for several years.
Main Divide Waipara Chardonnay 2010
Three and a half stars (out of five)
A mouth-filling wine with lots of flavour - peaches,
persimmons, suggestions of wood smoke and nuts, it is
complex, textural and long on the finish.
Mission Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011
Below average value
Attractive creamy nuts with hints of butterscotch and oak,
soft fruit underneath and a crisp, but not assertive finish
make this an easy wine. Often found on special.
Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay
A full-on wine, reeking of smoky oak, citrus, especially
grapefruit and pineapple, backed by creamy vanilla undertones
of the American oak used to ferment and mature the wine. It's
rich and mouth-filling with a crisp acidity and will settle
and develop with a year's bottle age.
Definitely for lovers of oaky chardonnay.
Neudorf Nelson Chardonnay 2011
Fresh stone fruit with suggestions of citrus, creamy nuts,
and toasted oatmeal supported by oak, this is beautifully
textural and complex with a lively finish and a lingering
aftertaste. Fresh, stylish and delicious drinking now or over
the next year or so.
Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2011
One of our finest chardonnays, lovely crisp but restrained
citrus and stone fruit, a hint of nuttiness, creamy, smoky
oak with complex layers and textures and an overlying
balance. The Moutere chardonnay deserves to be cellared for a
couple of years as it develops more complexity and interest
with bottle age.
Churton Marlborough Viognier 2011
Three and a half stars
Below average value
Viognier, an uncommon variety in New Zealand, produces a
full-bodied dry wine that's versatile with food. This is
perfumed with hints of nectarine, well structured and weighty
with complex creamy, savoury undertones, a slightly nutty
texture, and a crisp, dry finish.