Chardonnay a true peach of a grape

A huge number of variables can influence the retail price of a bottle of wine, including the amount and consequent cost of viticultural and winemaker input, yield per hectare, oak usage, scarcity, demand, market position and market forces.

This collection of chardonnays covers the gamut of pricing from widely available value-for-money offerings through to scarce, limited-release bottlings.

It’s a reminder of the variety of styles produced with this grape that can certainly offer something for everyone.






2018 Kono

Price: $19.95
Rating: Very good to excellent

Attractively fragrant nose, Fruit driven with ripe tropical fruits, peach and warm bread. Creamy entry and good texture, a hint of oak underlay backing the ripe fruits, showing good richness through the mouth with bright lift from a grapefruit-like touch on the close. Not huge but generous nevertheless. Lovely drinkability.

2018 Main Divide
North Canterbury

Price: $20.99
Rating: Good to very good

Powerful nose with smoke and struck match, a backdrop of white peach and stonefruits. Smoky, charry notes dominate the palate, while the fruit has a sweet ’n’ sour zing to it. No doubting the fruit intensity, and possibly crowd appeal, but the apricot kernel bittersweet note masks the finish for me.

2018 Trinity Hill
125 Gimblett
Single Vineyard Gimblett Gravels

Price: $80
Rating: Excellent to outstanding

Expressively fragrant nose of sweet cedar, warm baguette, spice and ripe peach. Lovely texture and while there’s clear power here, it retains a wonderful lightness, brightness and energy. An appealing chewiness builds with time, the whole offering complexity and depth as it flows to a long finish.


2018 Pegasus Bay

Price: $44
Rating: Excellent

Brooding nose offering struck match and a saline, seashell-like note with oak nuances in support. Tropical fruits and pineapple pop their heads up, too. Structure here, creaminess, with tropical and stonefruits melding with citrus and almond-led nuttiness on the long close. Grows perceptibly in the glass, real acid drive adding freshness to a smart package.

2017 Mills Reef
Elspeth Gimblett Gravels

Price: $39.95
Rating: Excellent

Lifted nose with (West’s) pineapple & pear, fruit sherbet and melon. There’s a cool wellspring filling the palate led by nectarine hints, though with riper pineapple and topical fruit seasoned with oak as the wine aerates. Creamy texture, notable viscosity, with power and weight in the mouth. Potential yet to come, too.

2016 Riverby Estate
Single Vineyard

Price: $27
Rating: Very good to excellent

Subtly attractive nose with ripe nectarine and gentle oak seasoning. Nothing leaps out, yet nothing distracts with freshness and integration driving its sheer drinkability. Fruit intensity builds with aeration, a little ebb & flow here as it goes through a quieter spell. In a great place to enjoy now.

2019 Jules Taylor

Price: $24.99
Rating: Very good to excellent

Fruit jubes and ripe pears lead, evolving to peach, spices and perfumed oak. An oily richness frames the palate. Peach and stonefruits flow through the palate to a lightly tannic, long nutty finish. The bright acidity adds a lemony hint and freshness to the wine. Youthful, but already drinking very nicely.

2018 Villa Maria
Hawke’s Bay

Price: $79.99
Rating: Outstanding

Rather beguiling nose of stuck match, clotted cream, bonfire smoke, peach and spices. Rich and full in the mouth, dancing between fruit, nuts, citrus zest and spices. Power yet not heavy, impeccable balance, adding nectarine and oatmeal/bran biscuit with aeration.  A zesty core of acidity flows to the long, fruit-filled close.


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