Church Road TOM Chardonnay 2014 $150 (5 stars)

Winemaker Chris Scott chose fruit from Church Road’s Tuki Tuki Valley block to fashion into what should (if I had my way) be a national treasure.  Expertly crafted and scented with grilled grapefruit, seasoned popcorn, ground almonds and roast stonefruit.  Its personality draws you in, it almost glows.  It’s got gorgeous tension in the mouth, […]

Hunter’s Unoaked Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $18.99 (4 stars)

It’s funny how if you put the word ‘un’ in front of something, people assume it’s going to be somehow lacking. They’ll have to eat their hats, however, because this heavenly little creature from Hunters hits all the right spots. Juicy nectarine and grapefruity goodness on the nose leads to layers of lemon and peach […]

Sacred Hill Riflemans Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $70 (4.5 stars)

The thing that I love about Riflemans chardonnay is that it doesn’t follow any model, any recipe.  It’s simply the absolute best example that Sacred Hill can possibly produce, from the fruit sourced from the tiny, heritage, own-rooted Mendoza block high up on the chalky terraces of the Dartmoor Valley.  Clean, precise grapefruit pith layers […]

Anthony Joseph Vidal 1888 Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014 $120 (5 stars)

The rumours were out that winemaker Hugh Crichton was planning to release something epic in the Vidal chardonnay stakes, and lordy, they were right.  From the most glorious chardonnay vintage Hawke’s Bay has seen in a stretch, comes a formidably gorgeous wine scented with popcorn, gunflint and grilled grapefruit and offering gracefully ripe, roasted stonefruit, […]

Pask Declaration Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2015 $40 (4.5 stars)

Absolutely rocketing out of the gate from a standing start comes this shiny new chardonnay from one of Hawke’s Bay’s elite producers. Declaration wines are only produced in exceptional vintages and the 2014 won a trophy at the largest wine show in the world the 2017 IWSC and the 2015 will do great things too. […]

Te Mania Nelson Chardonnay 2015 $22 (4 stars)

I’ve been told by winemaker Lars Jensen, that this is a favourite amongst the winery staff and that they’re having to fast track the next vintage because it’s all being consumed in house!  That’s hardly surprising because it’s a lovely drop.  Fresh nectarine and toasty, buttered crumpet flavours are dusted with cinnamon and dolloped with […]

Snapper Rock Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $16 (3 stars)

If you’re looking for a peach-packed quaffer then you’ve come to the right place.  Soft pineapple and a splash of caramel add character to the wine and a creamy layer in the middle of the mouth brings a buttery finish.  Simple but seriously sippable. www.glengarrywines.co.nz

Saint Clair Premium Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $14.95 (4 stars)

This is a real crowd-pleaser of a chardonnay that ticks all the boxes for tropical tastiness, toasty, nutty notes and some plucky peachy layers that’ll keep everyone happy.  Softer-styled and supple acidity adds extra complexity to the mouthfeel. www.saintclair.co.nz  

Taylors St Andrews Clare Valley Chardonnay 2014 $44.99 (5 stars)

The Clare Valley in South Australia is considered a cool-climate area and that’s why the folks at Taylors were quick to snap up the historic St Andrews vineyard and revitalised the old chardonnay vines. Luscious grapefruit and poached apricot add to its peachy complexity. Succulent and even a teensy bit spicy with a slick of […]

The Family Company ‘Cosmos’ Methode Traditionelle $25 (3.5 stars)

“All life begins with a bang” says winemaker John Thorpe of his fun, Gisborne-grown sparkler.  Cosmos is made from 100% Chardonnay aged for just over two years in bottle before being released, it’s scented with lemon, breadcrust and yellow plum, and also boasts tangy citrus pith, nutty notes and creamy complexity on the finish. www.gisbornegourmet.com

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