Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley Chardonnay 2018 $44

The vines that pump out the fruit from which this chardonnay is crafted are over 30 years old.  Now that might not seem that old, but if you think about New Zealand’s modern wine industry really only kicking off in the late 1980’s, and even then, the nation was carpeted in muller thurgau for an unspeakably long time – then 30 years is actually a decent stretch.  Hand-picked after a super-hot summer, then whole bunch pressed and the juice was immediately put into large French Oak puncheons – 70% were older so that not too much oak flavour would be picked up.  Then it was fermented ‘wild’ and aged on its lees before going through a natural malolactic ferment which softens the acids and brings in a layer of creamy complexity.  Aroma-wise it’s a riot of peach, apple, grapefruit and caramelised spices, while the palate is seriously juicy and supported by solid acidity and seductively rich textures.  2018 shined light on this chardonnay and I love it!