The fruit sourced for this Chardonnay was from the Home Block Vineyard, located behind the Waipara Hills Winery on Glasnevin Road. The 2018 season in Waipara started well with comparably warm conditions to get bud burst started, then a mixed flowering period, which led to a moderate fruit set to start the growing season. Mid-summer had some cooler spells which protracted the veraison, but the warmer weather followed soon after along with the typical cool evenings keeping progress in check. Harvest was in the cool of the morning of the 4th April and the hand pickers had an easy time finding beautifully clean fruit that was nicely exposed.
The harvest maturity analysis was:
Brix 23.1 pH 3.27 Total Acidity 8.7 g/L
Colour: A clear, pale straw.
Nose: Flinty, smoky oak, a touch of malt biscuit and fresh baked bread backed up with crisp nectarines and white peach. Bright and lifted, yet wonderfully complex.
Palate: The flinty oak continues into the palate, where it dances with the stone fruit characters across the palate. The texture and weight of the wine gives it a great presence in the mouth, yet there is a line of acidity that asserts itself mid palate and that keeps it bright and fresh. This will give the wine plenty of potential to develop with time.
Chardonnay is a favourite for pairing with food as it can work so well with such a wide range of dishes, whether its cutting through the oiliness of Southern Fried Chicken, adding a complementary smokiness to barbequed fish, or even something as simple as a grilled pork chop. We have had great success at an Italian restaurant where the wine has been paired with handmade fettuccine doused in olive oil, pecorino cheese and capers. So simple and so delicious. The Chardonnay lightens the dish by cutting the oiliness, yet the flinty oak and stone fruit accompany the nuttiness of the pecorino and the salty greenness of the capers. Magic.