Tony Bish Heartwood Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $35

The debut release this month from the chardonnay’s Commander in Chief is an exercise in pure balance and excess combined.  My quest for excellent chardonnay is basically what gets me up in the morning, so the day after sipping this, I had a blissful, snorey, sleep-in.   Fleshy, juicy, stonefruit notes combine with a whiff of […]

Murphy Goode California Chardonnay 2014 $25

Super-creamalicous on the nose and palate, this is classic California chardonnay from Santa Rosa that I’m sure will appeal to both mama’s and the papa’s and cool kids alike.  Bursting with ultra-ripe peach, coconut, vanilla and layers of roasty-toasty almond, it’s also fresh, citrusy and a total trop-fest on the palate. Sip with: Baked, cornflake-coated […]

Nga Waka Home Block Martinborough Chardonnay 2015 $40

If you’re a fan of buttery chardonnay, this brand new vintage from Martinborough’s Parkinson family will have you grinning.  With roasty, toasty, nutty notes gleaned from barrel fermentation, soft, creamy layers from the full malolactic ferment and tangy nectarine and peach flavours soaking through to the finish, it’s a ‘thinkers’ chardonnay.  I’m also certain it’ll […]

Matetic Corralillo Chardonnay 2013 $25

Sourced from the region of Rosario in Chiles San Antonio Valley this chardonnay grows in decomposed granite soils studded with quartz and volcanic material; which probably explains the vein of minerality stitching the stonefruit, yellow plum and slivers of grapefruit together.  Pronounced ‘matt – eh – cheech’, it’s nutty, slightly creamy on the finish, and […]

Ma Maison Martinborough Chardonnay 2014 $45

Wellington-based dentist-by-trade Edward Leung has worked incredibly hard to produce small amounts of high quality chardonnay from his How on earth winemaker Wendy Potts manages to inject layers of crème caramel, roast nectarine, cinnamon and juicy, grilled grapefruit into this wine I’ll never know.  She’ll tell you it’s all in the fruit, whereas I think […]

Wairau River Marlborough Chardonnay 2014 $20

Gently juicy, peachy, zesty grapefruity goodness, followed by beautifully balanced tropical tautness and punchy acidity are all bunched up into a quadratic equation of excellence in this cracker of a wine.  The Rose family behind the Wairau River business are all in this thing, every one of them – and the wines keep getting better. […]

Craggy Range Gimblet Gravels Chardonnay 2015 $31.95

This is a sexy example of how restraint can be applied to quality Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay fruit.  People assume that because a wine is from the rockstar region of the Gimblett Gravels that it’s going to be a monster.  Yet this wine proves the opposite is just as impressive.  It shows really artistry at play, […]

Neudorf Rosie’s Block Nelson Chardonnay 2015 $33 ★★★★

Five different clones were hand harvested, fermented with wild yeasts and blended to create this buttered-crumpet-smelling chardonnay, which quickly unveils a backbone of grilled nectarine and grapefruit pith alongside deliciously textural, creamy almond characters in the mid palate.  It’s a juicy, cheek-puckering style that pretty much makes everything you consume with it positively bounce around […]

Sacred Hill Halo Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014 $25 ★★★★½

Born in the now nationally-reverred Rifleman’s Vineyard which lies in a secret spot inland-west of Napier in Puketapu’s Dartmoor Valley, this is an ‘impress-your-friends’ chardonnay if ever I tasted one.  Prepare for a burst of fennel, peach and vanilla, alongside some white pepper and a big, juicy, satisfying texture.  It’s fat, fresh and fabulous.

Tiki Single Vineyard Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014 $23 ★★★★½

Crafted by winemaking legend Evan Ward, this wine oozes smoked apricot, toasty nectarine and oatmealy, creamy flavours.  There’s a gently juicy texture, silky citrus and vanilla-infused spices wash around the back teeth.  And it’s rich, fulfilling and rather fabulous.This is a great wine from a chardonnay master at work. For stockists visit

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