Chardonnay

Regionally, Chardonnay is a star performer – and a favourite of ours. It is a variety which opens up a world of winemaking options and challenges. Ultimately though it is the character of the fruit itself which determines the most appropriate wine style. The role of the winemaker is to discover this character and allow it to shine.

Intrinsic to our Chardonnays are citrus fruits and a fine, mineral vitality. Site and low yields provide the fruit concentration and structure which supports subtle layers of complexity without veiling the restrained elegance and energy essential to these wines.

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Greenhough Chardonnay

2022 ‘Road Block’ Chardonnay

 

From three roadside blocks on the Morison and Home Vineyards.  Clone B95 is planted in the top section of the Morison Vineyard where 1-1.5 meters of heavier clays, washed down from the hills behind, overlay the loamy, stony gravels typical of this part of the Waimea Plains. The Mendoza portion of the blend is grown on the Home block. Vines are cane pruned on a single fruiting wire with a target yield of 6-7 tonnes per hectare. Hand and harvested and whole-bunch pressed, the juice was briefly settled and racked with moderate solids to French oak barriques and puncheons, (15% new) for fermentation. A number of these barrels are inoculated with a vineyard pied-de-cuve and the remaining with a selected yeast. The wine has undergone a natural spring malolactic fermentation (MLF) in barrel to further soften acidity and enhance mouthfeel.

“This generous, youthful wine was fermented and matured for 10 months in French oak casks. Fragrant and mouth filling, it has concentrated, ripe stone-fruit flavours threaded with fresh acidity, very good vigour and complexity and a creamy-smooth finish.”                                                         Michael Cooper, Listener Apr 1-7, 2023

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Hope Vineyard Chardonnay

2022 Hope Vineyard Chardonnay

“A wine that starts modestly then grows and grows. Scents of broom flower and milkiness; a palate lifted by juicy acidity with flavours of citrus, dill and other freshly cut herbs. The texture is lithe. Less is more – so much is achieved without grand sweeping gestures. Full of vivacity and life.”                        John Saker , Te Whenua No.6, March 2024

From one of New Zealand’s best Chardonnay terroirs, Nelson at the northern tip of the South Island. This consists of fruit from Mendoza and UCD15 clones planted on clay and river stone soils, giving intense, concentrated bunches. Fermentation with wild yeasts and high turbidity is in French oak barriques (14% new) with 10 months maturation on the lees. The wine went through malolactic fermentaion spontaneously. A bit of depth to the colour and loads of flinty character, smoky and intensely perfumed by its complex sulphides. Nutty Cox’s pippin apples come through, and on the palate it is searing with both ripe, deliciously juicy fruit and salt-licked lemon acidity. The axis of toastines, sweet fruit and saline acid structure makes for a very powerful rendition of Chardonnay.   91/100 Tom Cannavan, UK, 8 October 2022

Hope Vineyard Chardonnay is made from the intensely-flavoured, high acid Mendoza clone grown in the Winery and Road Blocks, 13 and 22 years old respectively. These have been managed organically since 2008 and are fully BioGro certified. Fruit is hand harvested and whole bunch pressed to tank where it is very briefly settled before racking to French oak barriques. Indigenous (wild yeast) fermentation begins within 3-5 days and completes over a period of months, some barrels sooner. Yeast lees are stirred several time per month during the first winter. Matured in barrel on full yeast lees for 11 months during which time malolactic fermentation completed.

The Mendoza clone provides this wine with excellent concentration and structure which has been modulated and enriched by the winemaking process. Typical of the Hope Chardonnay, this wine expresses ripe citrus fruit aromas and flavours.   Malo character is not overt but softens acidity and contributes to palate richness.  Lower impact oak is selected to support and harmonise with the fruit. There is a purity and vivacity which we are at pains to preserve throughout, at the same time building palate texture and complexity. The goal is to allow the restrained elegance and energy of this wine to  express.

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