WINE REVIEWS: Chardonnay comes in many styles

Fruit flavours vary from stone fruit such as peaches, or citrus such as lemon or grapefruit, or tropical fruit like golden kiwifruit or pineapple.

Behind this you often find a creamy hint or buttery or butterscotch overtones from a second, malolactic fermentation.

Then there are sometimes hints of nuts or oatmeal from the wine resting on the yeast lees, and, very often, oaky flavours that vary from newly sawn timber through vanilla to toast and smoke.

Not everyone enjoys every style, but, as always, the best wines will be harmonious and balanced, whatever style they are made in.

 


◊ BEST UNDER $20

Wild South Marlborough Chardonnay 2008
(about $19)

A hint of mineral and toasted cashews with bright stone fruit and a crisp finish. Fresh and fruit-driven.

Two stars (out of five)

Average value

wildsouthwines.co.nz

 

 

 


Boundary Vineyards Tukituki Road Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2008
(about $20)

A fruity wine with hints of golden kiwifruit and a nicely balanced, creamy, slightly nutty after taste.

Two stars (out of five)

Average value

www.boundaryvineyards.co.nz

 

 


Sacred Hill Barrel Fermented Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2008
(about $21)

A zesty wine with a hint of citrus and caramel, an oily texture and a fresh, fruity finish.

Three stars (out of five)

Average value

www.sacredhill.com

 

 

 


Waimea Nelson Chardonnay 2008
(about $22)

A hint of golden kiwifruit and toasted cashew nuts combine to produce an understated but intense wine with a dry finish.

Three stars (out of five)

Average value

http://www.waimeaestates.co.nz

 

 


Neudorf Nelson Chardonnay 2007
(about $29)

A fragrant wine with hints of grapefruit, nuts and mineral, with a suggestion of creamy oak in the background.

Four stars (out of five)

Average value

Complex and textural with a bright, lip-sucking finish.

www.neudorf.co.nz

 

 


Dog Point Marlborough Chardonnay 2007
(about $33)

Five stars (out of five)average valueWonderfully fragrant with floral aromas, hints of freshly baked brioche, with suggestions of citrus, toasted nuts and caramel.

Textural, complex and persistent with a long, attractive finish, this is probably Dog Point's best chardonnay so far.

Should develop over three or five years.

www.dogpoint.co.nzdog point chard 07.

 

 


ANOTHER GLASS

Church Road Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2007
(about $34)

A stylish wine with oodles of lovely toffee, nutty, caramel and toasty oak, roasted peaches and oatmeal with a hint of citrus and a long, toasty finish, but it's all nicely balanced. A full-on wine for those who enjoy this style.

Four stars (out of five)

Average value

www.churchroad.co.nz


Cottage Block Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2007
(about $36)

Another wine oozing butterscotch, toasted nuts and creme brulee with stone and citrus fruit behind. A lovely, long, wine with all the stylish bells and whistles.

Four stars (out of five)

Below average value

www.corbans.co.nz


Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2007
(about $33)

Those who love oaky wines will find lovely toasty oak with hints of vanilla, roasted nuts and some stone fruit in the background and a long aftertaste. Those who don't may find it a bit like chewing a mantel piece. Goes well with garlicky food.

Three stars (out of five)

Below average value

www.saintclair.co.nz


- Although wine sent for review is tasted blind to eliminate preconceptions, all wine tasting and evaluation is subjective. These are personal recommendations.

- charmian.smith@odt.co.nz

 

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