Wine of the Week Home

Wine Blog

Blog (2007-2012)

Tasting Notes

Food File

Old Stuff
WOTW archives
Vine Dining
Book Reviews
Wine Stories

Vinous Links

About NZ Wine

About this Site

Wine of the Week logo
Wine of the Week info
edited by Sue Courtney
e-mail address:

Wine of the Week for week ending 23 December 2001
[Previous Week][Following Week]

Palliser Estate Noble Chardonnay 2000
Martinborough, New Zealand

Bubbly has to be the best way to start a meal - and especially so at Christmas time, whether you are on your own or with family and/or friends and/or other guests. If you are entertaining, hand the guests a flute full of chilled bubbles as they arrive.

Palliser Estate Noble Chardonnay 2000 I first discovered this little beauty in September, when the producers in the Negociants portfolio came to town to show off their wines. I love these wine tasting tours. One can taste the producer's entire range, chat to the winemakers and decide what, if anything, to buy based entirely on one's own palate pleasure.

I left the sweeties until the end of the tasting and as I circled the room one last time I found this seductive little number, the Palliser Estate Noble Chardonnay from the vintage of 2000. With its honey-rich bouquet, massively sweet honey peach and apricot flavours and it's sweet raisin finish I decided it was possibly the best botrytis chardonnay that I had tasted, ever.

It was a superbly balanced sweetness - hard to believe it had a whopping 250 grammes of residual sugar. And with only 8.5% alcohol it wasn't overpowering at all.

So last month I was a guest at Toast Martinborough and I made sure I tried this wine again when I arrived at the party scene that Palliser Estate had transformed into for the day. And the wine, it certainly lived up to my expectations.

Even though I tasted this wine after arriving at Palliser for a second time at the end of a long day of tasting, I still thought the wine superb. My notebook came out once again. I wrote "a lovely botrytised wine with excellence balance and flavours and a lingering flavour of fruit salad". I treated myself to a second glass - well I had to use up the last of the Festival Francs and what a nice way to finish the day.

I'm going to open the bottle I bought on Christmas Day.

And so to the technical stuff. The chardonnay grapes for this wine had an average brix of 51 when they were hand-harvested from the Clouston vineyard in Martinborough between 27/04/00 and 1/05/00. The grapes were manually crushed and gently pressed in a Sutter 5000 litre membrane press before being cold settled, innoculated with yeast EC 1118 and lees filtered.
25% of the wine was barrel fermented and half of the barrels were new French oak.
The ferment stopped spontaneously having reached just 8.5% alcohol. 250 grammes of residual sugar remained.

At NZ$24 for a 375ml bottle, this wine is a relative bargain for a sweetie of this pedigree.

For more on this wine and the international distributors, check out the Palliser website.

[Previous Week][Following Week]

Back to top | Wine of the Week Archives | Wine of the Week Home

E-mail me: