(2021) This single vineyard Chardonnay comes from the La Collina vineyard, planted in 2001, and it is a taut, mineral-flecked example, for me very nicely pitched as an elegant, intense wine, with just a touch of flintiness on one hand, and just a touch of ripe tropicality on the other, but while showing facets of both, neither dominates as creamy almond and savoury apple and lemon fruit push through a long finish.
(2021) Launched with the 2018 vintage, this is Askerne's top Chardonnay, grown on stoney, sandy soils with yields lowered, whole bunch and barrel-fermented, all French oak and 45 % new, where it aged on the lees for 11 months. What a lovely nose, smoky and nutty, creamy and suffused with ripe stone fruits, and a beautifully judged gunflint aspect that is quite Burgundian. In the mouth I really like the balance, with a great lemony cut of acidity scything through that burgeoning ripe fruit, but the oak and that flinty minerality always squeezing and propelling the wine forward. My first experience with this producer, and a hugely impressive one.
(2021) Ungrafted vines of the Mendoza Chardonnay clone were whole-bunch pressed and fermented in French oak barrels, 80% of which were new. The lees were stirred regularly over 12 months ageing in barrel. What a truly delightful nose this has, buttery and Brazil nut creaminess, fat lemony fruit and, some exotic spicy smokiness and a lovely sense of depth. In the mouth it is mouth-filling and full-textured, a glycerine rich weight of fruit concentration, but always agile, always bright and defined beautifully by its acidity, more of that butteriness into the finish. Gorgeous wine, generous and giving, but never over-stepping the mark. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2021) From the Te Awanga sub-region close to the coast, this is made from the Mendoza clone of Chardonnay and fermented and aged in French oak. There's a bit of flint here, but bags of juicy and intense grapefruit, some buttery, quite Meursault-like characters. On the palate the partial ferementation with wild yeasts adds a lightly earthy, creamy layer, the fruit is very ripe but more in the juicy ripe apple and stone-fruit spectrum, some toastiness and again that fresh creamery butter touch into a long finish. No UK retail listing at time of review.
(2021) What a lovely wine this is from Villa Maria, from a vineyard planted in 1999, the nose is not shy of almond and oatmeal creamy oak, but the definite flinty character is well judged against grapefruit and more tropical, peachy fruit. On the palate racing acidity scythes a path through the buttery and nutty oak and the intense concentration of fruit. Glittering and concentrated stuff.
(2021) Fruit is sourced from the seaside Te Awanga and gravelly Bridge Pa, the wine spending one year in French oak, around one-third new. The nose of this pale green/straw-coloured wine is very Burgundian, hints of stones and flint, citrus and a little apple pie note of buttery pastry and fruit, some hazelnut too. In the mouth very good energy and thrust, confit lemon and juicy, bright orchard fruits, hints of more tropical mango and lychee, but then the sandwich of creamy oak and crisp acidity completes the finish. No UK stockists listed at time of review.
(2021) Made from the Mendoza clone of Chardonnay, 95% was fermented in French oak barrels, 5% in a French oak 'egg'. It then spent a year in barrel with regular lees stirring, 25% new barrels. The colour is emerald with a glint of gold, the oak on the nose subtle and understated, a little light earthiness and orchard fruits come through. Quite a natural feel to this, the palate also relatively reserved, juicy lemon and ripe apple, a nice saline note to the acidity, and a composed and long finish, crisply defined and with nothing out of place.
(2020) Flinty sulphides and cream, a touch of lime. Crunchy apple comes through. Fine sweet fruit on the palate. Juicy, a long, fresh finish, very good acidity, finishing on citrus and salts. A lovely wine - price and stockist at time of review is for the 2016 vintage.
(2020) This is a new release, from a project that’s been 10 years in the making according to Damian. It is a vineyard selection of their oldest vines, and a barrel selection with fewer than 100 cases produced. Lovely savoury nose, pure and has a touch of gravelly wild character, then creamy almond and Brazil nut. So juicy on the palate, very ripe pear, and the sweetness of the fruit, touching into exotic fruit, but then that core of rapier acidity pushes through, butter eased by the lightly toffeed oak, into a long finish. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) Salinity, flint and creamy minerality to spare in this lovely Chardonnay, smokiness and a little mint humbug buttery quality. The palate is beautiful, ripe pear and apple, a big thrust of lime and tangerine acidity into a long, balanced finish.