Grown out in the rocky soils of what the locals call ‘the RD9’ (or Maraekakaho to the townies), this organic chardonnay comes courtesy of the skilled winemaking wizardry of Rod McDonald. Wait. How rocky are the soils I hear you ask? Ok. So you know how Hawke’s Bay has the Gimblett Gravels and the Te Awanga Pebbles and the Bridge Pa red stones – well out in the RD9 they have their own name for the boulders that litter the vineyards. They’re called ‘Mangatahi Swedes’ and they’re enormous. But back to the wine. It has classic roast peach concentration, attractively balanced oak, a clean, unhurried disposition and a hint of nougat, caramelised crumpets and soft spices. Lush and nourishing to sip, it’s a frisky-fresh new release that has style and grace.