Giesen The Fuder Series Clayvin Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $55
I didn’t have to even put this superstar chardonnay in my mouth to know that it was going to be one of the greatest chardonnay experiences I’d ever have. The aromas that erupted from the glass were a swoon-inducing smorgasbord of smoky, grilled grapefruit and stonefruits, nutty nougat notes, caramelised, toasty oak and buttered crumpets dusted in cinnamon. If that wasn’t a lot to imagine, strap in because once you do actually get around to sipping this wine, it unleashes all kinds of crazy-gorgeous flavour on the palate. Think punchy, roast peach, popcorn, almond meal, flinty minerality and creamy, rockmelon-like magic. Clayvin is not only New Zealand’s most famous, organic vineyard, it’s also one of the first, close-planted, hillside sites in the country, with a density of 5,300 vines per hectare. To give you some idea of how rare that is, it’s much more common in this country to plant only around 2000 vines per hectare. Matured in 1000-litre oak Fuder’s imported by the Giesen’s for their flagship wines, the oak intensity is smoothed out, softened and sews together beautifully with the fruit concentration. If I were to go Spinal Tap on it, I’d give this 6 stars out of 5.