Askerne Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $31.90 (5 stars)

The perfume of this wine is so delicious it’s difficult to yank the glass away from your nose for long enough to actually sip it.  A hint of butterscotch merges with fresh nectarine, grapefruit and pineapple plushness on the nose and palate, while a zesty vein of spice and toasted crumpet joins them on the finish.  It’s a blend of three clones that’ve been fermented in new and aged French barrels with a mixture of wild and manmade yeasts, then aged on their lees for 9 months before bottling.  The result? A fresh, terrifically tangy wine with weight and wow factor that’ll only improve over the next year or three.

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