Later bloomers well worth revisiting

Regular readers will be aware that I taste and re-taste wines at my morning tastings and frequently go back to re-taste them again in the afternoon.

In my view, that time allows wines time to show at their best.

Some wines leap out of the blocks with enthusiasm; others are a little more reserved and take time to blossom.

That was the case with today’s wines that continued to evolve and change over quite some time, reminding me that tasting is an imperfect science: I hope that I have managed to capture what they have to offer.


2020 Te Kano Northburn Chardonnay

Price RRP $50
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Attractive nose,
butterscotch, smoke,
spice, warm bread,
peach/nectarine. Again
butterscotch and spice
joined by vanilla pod,
earthy clay, with a
tangy steeliness
flecked with citrus,
oatmeal and nectarine
as the wine opens up.
Power behind this and
still youthful, focused
and with good grip.
Long, dry, citrusy
close. A smart wine
with potential.


2020 Felton Road Bannockburn Chardonnay

Price RRP $52.50
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

A wisp of gunflint,
stonefruit, citrus zest,
perfume, a toffee note.
Mealy, nutty palate,
schisty/gravel notes
come and go, a touch
of chewiness.
Deceptively complex.
The flavour intensity
builds, working well
with the crunchy
acidity. Firms up a
little, later developing a
Looks to be crying out
for cellar time to allow
it to unfurl.


2020 Felton Road Blk 2 Chardonnay 29.03.22

Price RRP $69
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Wisps of wood smoke,
yellow fruits, a creamy
richness. Mouthfilling,
a fascinating grainy
quality, crushed rocks,
dry toast, power
through the mid-palate,
stony minerality,
piquancy. Life and
energy with a lip-
smackingly zesty
close. Like its
stablemate, a tautness
to the structure that
demands time in the
cellar to fully strut its


2019 Pegasus Bay Virtuoso Chardonnay

Price RRP $65
Rating Excellent

Aromas leap from the
glass with struck
match, lanolin, clotted
cream, growing
perfume, fruit in
support. Creamy at
first before tannic grip
and chewy phenolics
add textural interest.
Yellow fruits, ripe
peach, richly
mouthfilling on a lithe
frame. Racy acidity
and a bittersweet
kernel note gets the
salivary glands going.
Built for the future.


2021 Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay White Label Chardonnay

Price RRP $24.99
Rating Excellent

Appealing nose of
cashew nuts, oatmeal,
white flowers and ripe
fruit. Velvetty
mouthfeel, the fruit
swaying from tropical
to stonefruits.
Youthful, playfully
vibrant adding spice
notes to the nutty
characters with a
lovely flow through the
mouth. Develops a
grainy chewiness to
the texture that gets
the salivary juices
going, a hint of almond
on the finish.


2019 Pegasus Bay Chardonnay

Price RRP $45
Rating Excellent to Outstanding
Gunflint, bonfire

embers, preserved
lemon, moving to
tropical fruits, baking
spices & warm bread.
Incredible shaft of
acidity running through
this giving drive and
vividness. There’s  a
sense of fineness and
reserve to this yet no
mistaking the
underlying power.
Great structure with
flecks of grapefruit on
the long, beguiling

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