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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."


Friday, September 9, 2011

Villa Maria Chardonnay tasting - New Releases

Being a major Chardonnay fan, I couldn’t resist the chance to join other Villa Wine Club members in a tasting of eight new Chardonnay releases.
MC for the evening was Senior Auckland Winemaker Nick Picone.
Generous amount of cheese and crackers were available before the 6.00 pm start.  At the finish, there was tea and coffee, hot and cold food. All that for $25!

The line-up was a good selection of wines, ranging from from the home vineyard in Mangere, through to Hawkes Bay and south to Marlborough.

Yenneyhoo – here we go.
On arrival we were given a glass of the…
Cellar Selection Marlborough Chardonnay 2010 $NZ 20
An entry level  blend from various Marlborough vineyards.  Mineral and light with crisp lime, grapefruit and apple.

Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010 $NZ 28
Floral aromas, with a creamy yeast, grapefruit, white peach and nectarine flavours.

Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2010 $NZ 33
Grown on the property - a stone’s throw from the tasting room, in Mangere clay soils.
Spicy nose.  Softer palate of lime and grapefruit with a mouth feel of higher alcohol.

Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne  Chardonnay 2010 $NZ 33
Gisborne is one of my favourite Chard regions, some wineries sadly seen to be pulling vines because of oversupply.
Anyway, this is great – Soft and creamy with floral jasmine, mandarin and quinine.

Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Marlborough Chardonnay 2007 $NZ 33
Grown in the cooler Awatere region.  Quite yeasty and funky with toasty oak crisp mineral lime palate.

Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2007  $NZ 28
Fruit from two vineyards – the Waldron and Taylors Pass.  Funky, ripe and peachy with lemon squash, toast and quinine.

Finally a vertical three vintage tasting from Hawkes Bay. (My personal favourites).
Single Vineyard Keltern Hawkes Bay  Chardonnay 2010 $NZ 33
Creamy, soft and mouth-filling with ripe grapefruit, pear and apple.  

Cellar Selection Keltern Hawkes Bay  Chardonnay 2009 $NZ 33
Riper and even softer  than the 2010 with a hint of lanoline and stewed apple. 

Cellar Selection Keltern Hawkes Bay  Chardonnay 2008 $NZ 33 
Buttery, with cream cheese and quince.

Over all I found the wines still quite young and in the tight, lean and clean Villa style with fairly crisp acidity.  However, 2-3 years would take the edges off them, for the patient buyer.

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