Blind Tasting - Finest New Zealand Chardonnay

Epsom, Auckland

Tasted January 7, 2017 by evanqian with 125 views

Introduction

They are all fine and balanced Chardonnay, showing New World characters, nodding to Burgundy as well. reduction flavour is a problem especially when it's young and under screw cap, sometimes sulphur underlying brings complexity, but most of time, we have to decant for a while to get rid of it. fortunately, they all turned to much better after decanting. They are all delicious, a little restrained, making them elegant and complex rather than rich and bold, California-like style.

Flight 1 (5 notes)

White
2014 Dog Point Vineyard Chardonnay New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
91 points
Open nose, most reduction and oak flavours tonight, m++ acidity, full body, very 'new world'. I thought it was Keltern, and ranked it #2 for its density but less mellowed and less harmony. It's rated #4 by group.

Alc 14.0 %, pH 3.27, TA 6.7 g/l, RS 0.78 g/l. MC 4.5 stars, RC19.5, WS 93

Ap 5/5, Ar 13/15, Palate 17/20, Overall 4+2/10
Total 91+/100
White
2014 Villa Maria Chardonnay Single Vineyard Keltern New Zealand, North Island, Hawke's Bay
94 points
M- reduction, intense and balanced, creamy nutty and citrus notes, moderate oak. Medium+ bodied, Fine texture and smooth.

I thought it was the most balanced tonight and guess it's Hunting Hill as its fineness. It's actually Keltern :-) and voted as #1 by the group (#3 from me). Amazing, convincing performance as a classical Hawkes Bay Chardonnay.

Alc 13.5%, MC 5 stars, BC 94, RC 19.5

Ap 5/5, Ar 13/15, Palate 18/20, Overall 5+3/10
Total 94+/100
White
2014 Kumeu River Chardonnay Hunting Hill New Zealand, North Island, Auckland, Kumeu
92 points
Much reduction in nose, need decant for 30 min. Moderate Palate, medium body, fine texture and balanced. Mild oak but Lingering very long.

An elegant fine Chardonnay, one of the finest and most complicated NZ white wines, but I ranked it #4 and thought it was dog point as there were too much reduction notes at beginning. Deserve to treat gently with more patience. Should cellar a few years, will be much better. It's rated #2 in group.

Alc 14.0%. MC 5 stars, BC 96, WA 94, JS 96, GK 18.5

Ap 5/5, Ar 11/15, Palate 18/20, Overall 5+3/10
Total 92+/100
White
2014 Ata Rangi Chardonnay Craighall New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
94 points
Fresh citrus, some apricot even white pear notes, juicy, mouth-watering, high acidity, super smooth texture, lest nutty notes in the flight, restrained oak. It's a super fine and delicious one. I recognised it, quite different style in tonight's lineups (only partly and gentle MLF), and of course I rated my bottle as top one :-) it's voted to the 3rd place by group.

Alc 13.5 %, pH 3.2, TA 6.5 g/l. MC 5 stars, BC 96, RC 19.0, SK 95

Ap 5/5, Ar 13/15, Palate 18/20, Overall 5+3/10
Total 94+/100
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2014 Villa Maria Chardonnay Reserve New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
91 points
Opened this after blind tasting, pure and clear Palate, textbook style, stone fruits, nuts, oak, cream and subtle minerals. all balanced. Same quality level as blind tasting lineups tonight.

Ap 5/5, Ar 13/15, Palate 17/20, Overall 4+2/10
Total 91/100
1 person found this helpful Comments (2)
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