(2022) A selection of the best fruit from the Middle Road Chardonnay block was barrel fermented, with malolactic fermentation and around 33% of the French oak barrels were new. Aa lot of minty, elegant freshness here - more minty than toasty - with a certain precision to the citrus and pear fruit. In the mouth there's plenty of pithy lemon to give sharpness, in a wine that's much more about steely, flinty precision than opulence, but that's definitely not to say it lacks generosity or flesh.
(2022) 59% of the blend is the Mendoza clone, grown on sandy silt soils. The juice was transferred to French barriques for fermentation, both wild and inoculated ferments. Full malolactic and ageing for 12 months with lees stirring, the final blend had 40% new oak. Toasty, nutty with a twist of peat-smoked whisky, the palate is powerfully concentrated, and though the oak of the nose is present, there's substance and flinty intensity to counter that, with powerful acid structure too. This is on the borderline of being too muscular and oaky for me, but I suspect a year or so in bottle will sort a lot of that out. No UK retailers listed at time of review.
(2021) From the Limeworks block, this was feremented and spent around 11 months in oak barrels (20% of which was new American oak). Cashew, crushed almond and oatmeal on the nose, there's a generosity and inviting ripeness to this, only 12.5% alcohol, but a peachy fruit character as well as lime. On the palate the oak is very nicely handled, just adding a nutty and creamy flavour and texture, but the freshness and poise of the fruit is elegant and quite delicious. No UK retail listing at time of review.
(2021) There's no mistaking the barrel fermentation and 10 months in new French oak here, toast, Brazil nuts and coffee, butter and golden ripe fruit to the fore. In the mouth there's citrus and fleshy nectarine, a grapefruit and orange zest pushing the finish. It's well made and a confident style, though for me the oak is slightly too prominent - at this stage at least. Price and UK stockist quoted is for an older vintage at time of review.
(2020) Very much on the flinty, reductive side for sure, lots of gravel and tension, salty mineral-flecked fruit. The palate has lovely sweetness, moving into mango and lychee, a delicious rounding but subtle oak and a long, beautifully balanced acid finish. NO UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) Bold colour, lots of creaminess and toast, a lovely rounded character with great ripeness, peaches and cream, a juicy generous lime and orange acidity and a touch of buttery oak to ease the finish.
(2020) Sulphides notes turned down a little compared to some, but fresh and fragrant, a floral character, plenty of light, fresh and tangy fruit. Clean and delicately oaked in a Chablis style, but orange and peach comes through.
(2020) The recipe here is full malolactic, fermented and aged in French oak, with both wild and cultured yeasts and a selection of the best fruit. It is elegantly creamy on the nose, a sheen of almond to ripe melon and more exotic, peachy aromas. In the mouth the acidity is lovely: quite fat and lemony, generous, with the little bit of grippiness and earthiness from the wild ferment playing against the succulence of the fruit. Delicious and highly drinkable Chardonnay. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) Inspired by the coastal vineyards of Te Awanga, 50% was fermented in 500-litre oak puncheons and 50% in stainless steel. Peaches and stone fruits, passion fruit and star fruit, talcumy notes and then a big blast of orange and pink grapefruit on the palate with mouth-filling, ripe acidity. Price and stockist quoted are for the previous vintage at time of review.