Award-winning chardonnays

The New World Wine Awards results were published recently and this week's tasting takes a look at chardonnays awarded golds and silvers.

Wines in this competition must retail under $25 and in the case of the "Top 50'' be available in volumes of 5000 cases, making them very accessible in price and availability.

Given the quality and value in chardonnay, my two regular panellists, Collins and McLaren, were legging it down to the supermarket after the wines were unveiled to stock up.

Prices may vary due to promotional cycles, but were correct at time of purchase.


2016 St Clair Premium Marlborough Chardonnay
Price: $13 (promo)
Rating:  Excellent

Complex nose with toastiness, grilled nuts, stonefruit and peachy hints. A refreshing saline note flirting with seashell or salted caramel  works well with the nutty, stonefruited palate where there is lovely balance and freshness.

A citrusy zing on the long close.



2016 Mount Riley Marlborough Chardonnay
Price: $13 (promo)
Rating:  Good to very good

An attractive melange of scents on the nose, perfumed and nutty, tutti frutti gum with time.

Nectarine and stone fruits with lemon/lime citrusy elements lead on to the richly viscous palate where nuttiness, oak touches and gum hold sway.



2016 Church Road Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay
Price: $15  (promo)
Rating:  Excellent

Attractive and appealing nose with perfumed toasty oak, smoke, gunflint and warm baguette. Nicely textured on the palate, ripe peach to the fore, rich and inviting with great flow through the mouth.

Retains freshness with a crisp, zesty lift that hovers on the close.



2016 Mission Estate Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay
$12 (promo)
Rating:  Very good

Classic nose, smoky with hints of struck match and baguette; a ripe fruit backdrop. Lovely creamy entry with piquancy to the fruit hinting at greengage plum, a fine foil to the creamy texture.

A tangy sweet and sour interplay on the nose, a whisper of chewiness on the close.



2015 Huntaway Reserve Gisborne Chardonnay
Price: $12  (promo)
Rating:  Very good

Subtle nose with lightly toasty notes and zesty perfume. Clean and bright,  no rough edges,  a lighter-bodied style showing its smooth and supple side.

Understated flavours begin to grow with time adding grilled nuts and citrus to the whole.



2016 Sacred Hill Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay
Price: $19  (promo)
Rating:  Very good to excellent

Hints of toast and flint backed by ripe peach form an attractive nose. Texturally creamy with excellent flow through the mouth. The peach notes are joined by spices, hints of pear and oak nuances.  A long and appealing finish.


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