edited by Sue Courtney
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Gisborne, New Zealand
The parochial Gisborne winegrowers and producers say that Gisborne is the Chardonnay capital of the New Zealand and when you taste a wine like this one, the Odyssey Reserve Iliad Gisborne Chardonnay 2000, it is easy to see why some people might think this.
This is simply a gorgeous wine with it rich, toasty, leesy scents. It is rounded and balanced in the mouth with intense fruit flavours that hint at first in the citrus and tropical spectrum then flesh out to ripe peach and apricot, all sitting on a lovely creamy spine. It has a warm, pleasing finish and a long toasted biscuity aftertaste and a flavour that suggests butterscotch will develop with age. It is a lovely wine and in my book rates easily as gold medal quality.
So who is Odyssey and where can the wines be found?
Rebecca Salmond is the name behind the label. She's a top winemaker, but her name has often been hidden behind the labels of other companies she has made wine for. As a 'flying winemaker', she worked in Australia, France and Chile before making wine here in New Zealand. More recently she's worked in Italy and Sicily and is currently in Burgundy for their 2001 vintage.
However she has been producing wine for her own Odyssey label since the mid-1990's and the wines just get better and better.
You can read all about Rebecca, her wines and the vineyard she is establishing at Marlborough, on her website at www.odysseywines.co.nz.
As for where to buy the wines, try the website or ask any respectable fine wine retailer. Expect to pay around the mid-twenties for the very smart Odyssey Reserve Iliad Chardonnay 2000. It is well worth it.
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