I was so excited when I tasted this wine because it was so delicious, so outstanding, that I thought it should be the Wine of the Week. But then a bell started tingling in my head. Haven't I reviewed this wine before? It turned out I had. In fact it was a Wine of the Week in March this year. Oh, what the heck. It's such a superb wine it rates another mention.
I was re-acquainted with Martinborough Vineyards Chardonnay 2008 after it was awarded a gold medal at the recent NZ International Wine Show. I was tasting the gold medal wines to write the descriptions for the official booklet that's now available in fine wine stores. Out of the 23 chardonnay awarded gold medals, Martinborough Vineyards Chardonnay 2008 was one of my two favourites. The other was the Church Road Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2008, and it turned out that this particular wine was the judges' favourite as it went on to win the Champion Chardonnay trophy and later the Champion Wine of the Show.
But for my palate there was very little between them.
Martinborough Vineyards Chardonnay 2008 has creme brulee and Seville orange zest aromas and the taste is beautifully refined and lightly creamy with classy French oak, baguette, nutmeg and zest all adding to its appeal. Fruit is subtle - but definitely in the stonefruit spectrum - and there's a caramel richness welling up on the full-bodied finish. A beautifully crafted and impeccably balanced wine and simply outstanding.
I think the extra months in the bottle since my last review has taken it to another level.
We matched the wine to slow cooked pork belly, cut into strips, coated with seasoned flour and browned before placing in a casserole dish. Onions, peaches and a dash of white wine were added. The pork was heavenly, melt in the mouth and the crust had caramelised with the slow cooking. It was the perfect match.
I've now had this wine as successful matches to cheese, Alaskan King crab legs and now pork, with the leftovers also rather delicious with a slow cooked beef, carrot and parsnip stew. It's very versatile indeed.
Check out my previous review for more.
© Sue Courtney
5 Oct 2010