edited by Sue Courtney
Wine Reviews - Chardonnay
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 10 Dec 2005
Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my Chardonnay notes, listed alphabetically by Producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.
[2008/2007]        [1999 and older] [index]
Akarua Bannockburn Chardonnay 2000 Toasty oak, nice lemon and melon flavours with a creamy texture and the lift of spice and lemon oak on the finish. 15Mar2002.
Alana Estate Martinborough Chardonnay 2000 Hints of grapefruit on the nose. Rich peach and fig with plenty of malolactic influence and a nice barrel ferment character. Lovely palate weight. Spicy oak and butterscotch linger on the finish. 16Sep2001.
Alpha Domus Chardonnay 2000 Pale gold. A simple style of chardonnay with a light oak influence and juicy peach and tropical fruit. 24Sep2001.
Alpha Domus AD Chardonnay 2000 Bright gold. Creamy, spicy oak with melons, peach, apricot and fig, then very toasty oak which overpowers to linger on the finish. A very opulent style that will benefit from a little more time to let the oak meld in with the fruit. 24Sep2001.
Ascension 'The Ascent' Chardonnay 2000 ($30) a vibrant wine with spicy oak, citrus, butter and a toastiness emerging on the yeasty finish. 6Jul2001
Ata Rangi Petrie Chardonnay 2000 Lovely oily toastiness. Rich stone fruit and nectarine. Warm and yeasty. Louely length with good acid structure. Definitely very drinkable today. Tasted 27Aug2001 @ Ata Rangi release tasting. $
Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2000 Very tight wine at this stage of its life. Plenty of leesy characters with baked apple and nuts and a long creamy finish. Beautifully structured and made to last. Tasted 27Aug2001 @ Ata Rangi release tasting.
Babich Irongate Chardonnay 2000 (Hawkes Bay) Buttery oak on the nose at first. Very fine aromas. Lovely full and fleshy peach and melon fruit with the backing of classy French smoky oak (20% new). There's no malolactic fermentation in this leesy creamy wine with its dry nutty finish. Drinking well now but excellent aging potential. RRP $35 @ the most. Another excellent chardonnay from the 2000 vintage. 22Mar2002
Bilancia Chardonnay 2000 (Hawkes Bay). Toasty oak and nicely balanced peach and fig fruit with lingering spice. 18Sep2001.
Brightwater Chardonnay 2000 Rich honey butter & yeasty aroma. A yeasty fat wine with buttery notes dominating, oak loitering in background and baked stonefruit and apple flavours. A wine for rich foods. $18.95. 21Jan2002.
Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2000 subtle and exotic aromas with grapefruit and lemony citrus. Rich and powerful in the palate with delicately toasty oak, citrus and figs, leesy characters and a touch of honey. Definitely quite tight in its youth but wonderfully complex with loads of potential and a 'yummy' factor. 19/20. Wine of the Week 21 Apr 2002.
Coopers Creek Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Good aromas with clean oak, flowers and honey. There's plenty of honeyed oak in palate balanced to the nectarine fruit flavours. Made from the Swamp Reserve pressings and Swamp rejects. A 2-vineyard blend from Middle Rd and Te Awanga. This wine is quite delicious and really shows off the quality of the 2000 vintage. $18.50. 22Oct2001.
Coopers Creek Swamp Reserve HB Chardonnay 2000 Lots of caramel and bready aromas, with a deep golden colour that suggests full development. Creamy, soft, buttery, mouthfilling peachy stonefruit flavours, a little Burgundian-like in some respects and the nutty oak and caramel finish is long. 14% alc. $29.95. 23Jun2004.
Crossroads East Coast Chardonnay 2000 Nose of toasty oak, figs and melon. Rich, toasty and figgy flavours with melon and hints of pineapple on the finish. We were surprised that the RRP is $14.95 as it seemed like it would cost more. Was a very good accompaniment to honey roasted peanuts. This is a wine that may evolve over the next year but is drinking well now. 29May2002.
Craggy Range 7 Poplars Chard 2000 (Hawkes Bay) Sweet lifted fruit, honey oak, touch of pineapple and honey melon. Great structure & texture with plenty of acidity, subtle oak and a nutty backbone. Quite drinkable now but hows great aging potential. From a vineyard behind Taradale on the Tutakare Valley. Between river soils and hill soils. Single clone UCD6 chardonnay, fermented with two Burgundy yeasts. 65% new French oak. Spontaneous maloactic fermentaion. 28Aug2001
Delegats Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Bright light gold in colour with really dominant, mealy, French oak characters with citrus and butter. Citrus and yeast lees flavours make a rich, creamy buttery chardonnay reminiscent of the past. Toasty stone flavours linger with a touch of tropical fruits too. Drinking very well now and a good Chardonnay for the price $14.95. 14Aug2003.
Domaine Georges Michel Golden Mile Chardonnay 2000 Quite developed in colour and quite developed in aroma with a hint of rubber. Later Lemon biscuits tending to toasted pineapple. Ripe and juicy, long and spicy with flavours of toasted peaches and a creamy finish. A complex, interesting wine with an excellent aftertaste. 4.5/5 17Oct2002.
Dry River Chardonnay 2000 Very ripe and peachy with spicy, mealy oak. Rich in the typical Dry River style. Toasty finish with plenty of fig-like flavours. $35. Dry River Release Tasting. 16Sep2001
Esk Valley Black Label Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Yellow gold - quite developed for a 2000. Oak leaps out of the glass. Creamy, buttery, peachy, hot. Detected some TCA, though very slight.
Esk Valley Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Big Chardonnay with a spicy oaky leesy backbone. Melon and fig fruit predominate in this richly textured, full-bodied wine with medium acidity, hints of caramel and a sweet fruit finish. $33. 5Nov2001.
Floating Mountain Waipara Chardonnay 2000 Richly scented. Mealy, leesy, warmly textured, full bodied chardonnay with fig, cashew and a touch of stone fruit. Classy, well-integrated oak that does not over power. Nicely balanced. Savoury, subtle smoke and a long mealy finish. A simply beautiful wine. Just 180 cases made in 2000. Tasted 9Jan2002.
Forrest Estate Chardonnay 2000 Rich mealy scents and flavours of peach and citrus back up by plenty of creamy, spicy oak. Good acidity with an apples and pears finish. Nice wine. 6 Jul 2001
Foxes Island Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 Pre-release sample. Light gold colour with an appealing, soft peach aromas. Soft honey oak on well-balanced mealy fig and stonefruits with some obvious malolactic. A rich, oaky character lingers on the full, rich finish. This will mellow nicely in the 12 months before release. 24Sep2001.
Gibbston Valley Reserve Chardonnay 2000 Pale greeny gold with a bouquet of sweet stone fruits and honey. There's plenty of figs and clove-like spice coming through on the palate. With just 18% new oak, this is a fruity wine with good balance, texture and length from the lees stirring. $30. 24Sep2001.
Giesen Marlborough School Rd Chardonnay 2000 Oaky, a little disjointed, simple. Don't like tonight. A light and neutral style that would go with most foods. A little bit of oak, a little bit of perfumed peachy fruit. 15.5 $13.95. 12Dec2001.
Golden Slope TW Gisborne Chardonnay 2000 Soft oak, peach, fig and spice then plenty of oak emerging and a sweet and ripe fruit finish with some caramel lingering. 17/20. 16Sep2001.
Goldridge Estate Premium Reserve Matakana Chardonnay 2000 (about $18.95). Tropical fruit aromas and bright flavours of pineapple, peach, nectarine, melon and fresh sweet nuts are bound together with citrus and toasty, vanillin oak. 'Yum' was a word that sprung easily to mind. July 2001.
Goldridge Premium Reserve Barrique Matured Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 This is a chardonnay for oak-lovers - toasty oak with a myriad of fruit, rockmelon and nectarine predominating. Good acidity and pleasing texture with a warm leesy character bringing a creamed nut flavour to the finish with a toasted pineapple lift.. 13.7% alcohol. NZ$15-$20. Oct 2001
Grove Mill Chardonnay 2000 Sweet honeyed leesy number with vanilla custard caramel corn. Hot, mealy, white peach & melon, lovely fruit and balance to the oak that gives a spicy lift to the finish. 2 days later: Plenty of butterscotch richness, wheat, leesiness and honeyed poached peach. Nice but not as good as the 99 in my opinion, which I thought was exceptional. $23. 31Oct2001
Herons Flight La Volée Chardonnay 2000 ($18) An unoaked wine. Peach and a touch of spice make easy and palatable drinking. July 2001
Huia Chardonnay 2000 Pale straw. Very subtle hints of mealiness on the nose. Dry and softly toasty in the palate with citrus and mealy characters. The citrus acidity lingers on the finish with nice, mellow, mealy notes. $28. 24Sep2001.
Huntaway Gisborne Chardonnay 2000 Dry, powdery, citrus style with nutty mealy characters and citrus lingering. Oak doesn't dominate on palate but lingers on finish. But lacks some oomph tonight. $19.95. (Tasted blind). 23Jan2002.
Hyperion Helios Chardonnay 2000 ($25) has lovely aromas and flavours with spicy peach and fig and a soft woody component. July 2001
Kaituna Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 Yellow gold in colour with a slight tropical nuance to the mellow oak aromas, this soft creamy wine seems ever so easy to drink. It's ripe, rounded and harmonious with warm toasty oak, a mealy richness, stonefruit, pineapple and citrus flavours and a long spicy finish. It's still quite youthful, however and should drink well for a couple more years. $24.95. 29Jan2003.
Kemblefield The Distinction Chardonnay 2000 Melon and oak aromas. A ripe chardonnay with peach, melon, creamed nuts, leesy flavours and spicy oak. Deliciously mouthfilling with a ripe long finish. $26. 8Aug2002.
Lawsons Dry Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 Too much malolactic for my liking. Lots of polished (lemon pledge) oak flavours at first but there's a honeyed nuance and some attractive fruit flavours with a touch of fruit salad, then some oily banana emerging and lingering. A blend of barrel fermented and unoaked chardonnay, the unoaked portion is probably giving it that oily fruity banana character. Neil says 'wheaty' like a thin beer. Perhaps this is a chardonnay for beer lovers. 14%. Dec2002.
Lincoln Heritage Collection Patricia Chardonnay 2000 (Gisborne) Lightly oaked easy drinking style reminiscent of custard and fruit salad with its sweet ripe tropical fruit and creamy, vanillin flavours. $17. July 2001
Lincoln Presidents Selection Gisborne Chardonnay 2000 ($24) Lemony, zesty wine with spicy oak, juicy tropical fruit, nectarines and some butterscotch emerging on the finish, tighter in structure than the Patricia and one for the longer haul. July 2001
Lincoln Winemakers Series Parklands Estate Chardonnay 2000 Lots of vivacious fresh fruit with just the merest hint of oak. A fresh new wine with aromas of stone fruit bursting from the glass, and in the palate fresh apricots with fleshy peach are joined by tropical fruits and the soft zing of citrus. The wine is weighty, with a touch of pineapple and ginger spice appearing on the finish and the flavours linger for ages. 4.6 g/L rs. $13. WOTW 17Sep2000.
Lombardi Chardonnay 2000 Pale straw colour. Malolactic seems quite obvious, although only 30% in the wine. Dry in the palate with a lemon mealiness, subtle oak and stone fruit characters. 60% of the wine was oak fermented. $22. 24Sep2001.
Longridge Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 (about $14.95) is a simple, easy drinking style with a subtle oak character, sweetish peach, pineapple and citrus fruit and a touch of marmite yeast. *** March 2001
Matariki Stony Bay Chardonnay 2000 Clear, pale green gold colour. Fresh fruit aromas with a touch of spice. Lightly oaked flavours with oily lemon & lime then pear with stonefruit richness emerging in the back of the palate. Medium weight style. Nice, well balanced and refreshing summer sipper. Nice label too, to attract the under $20 buyers. $18.95. 21Feb2002.
Matariki Chardonnay 2000 There's cedary oak on the lemony leesy nose on this tank fermented wine that was aged in oak with 10 months on yeast lees. Creamy rich palate with figs and nuts, then bright peach and apricot flavours making a statement. Subtle, integrated oak. A little lemon drop lolly character lingers on the finish with a lovely nutty, butter lemon richness. Very enjoyable. $27. 21Feb2002.
Matariki Reserve Chardonnay 2000 Leesy, nutty and grapefruit aromas combine with mellow oak in this barrel fermented wine. In the mouth there's good balance on the flinty, nutty palate. Stonefruit (apricot and peaches) emerge and linger on the dry finish. It's warm and leesy with spicy, toasty finish with oak flavours lingering. It's not a big obvious style but what I would call 'elegant'. Subtle yet powerful and mouthfilling. $36. 21Feb2002.
Matua Valley Judd Estate Chardonnay 2000 Full gold colour. Typical chardonnay scents with toasty aromas. Rich and full in palate with quite a lot of sweet toasty oak and ripe nectarine and oak spice. Very ripe and balanced in the creamy palate and even appealing to non-chardonnay-o-philes. Full and long lingering. $27.95. 6Feb2002.
Matua Matheson Chardonnay 2000 ($18.95) Lemon gold. A citrus character predominates. Spicy oak and peaches with a butterscotch and honey coating, some mealiness from a suggestion of malolactic and a acidic, lemon finish. A hint of a varnish character detracts from the overall pleasure. 18.0/20 7 Mar 2001
Matua Matheson Chardonnay 2000 - Museum Release It's such a joy to be able to go into a shop and buy an aged wine, which is what this museum release represents. Gold in colour with a peachy fragrance on the nose, it's a rich yet not overpowering wine with good balance, weight and texture and a lovely sweet ripe stonefruit. Well-integrated buttery oak is starting to mellow and the wines lingers with white raisin, ginger and citrus. ****1/2. 9Jan2004.
Mills Reef Cooks Beach Reserve Chardonnay 2000 Appealing soft toasty scents, plenty of upfront oak, buttery spice, ripe peach and tropical fruit; mouthfilling and warm with a long toasty finish. A couple of days later the oak had subdued and mealy, pear and pineapple flavours are more pronounced. It is rich and luscious, sweet and balanced, delightful on its own or with food. Try with a roast rolled loin of pork. July 2001
Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Simple style. Peachy scents. Overtly buttery in the palate with bitter citrus, hazelnut and a touch of hot spice on the cloying buttery flabby finish. Ready to drink. Serve chilled July 2001
Mission Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Ripe melon and toasty oak. A dry, austere style. 18Sep2001.
Mission Jewelstone Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Much riper and fleshier wine than the reserve. Sweet, fleshy, peachy fruit, nice mouthfeel and a mealy finish. Very good. 18Sep2001.
Morton Estate Black Label Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Shows all the form of its glorious past. A new release with bottle age, it tastes superb even when chilled to the bones. Bright lemon gold with toasty aromas, buttery flavours, vanillin oak and spicy stonefruits, it's full-bodied, rich and decadent and becomes more deliciously creamy as it starts to warm up. A sensational wine. Highly recommended. *****. 30Nov2003.
Morton Estate Riverview Chardonnay 2000 Medium gold, smoke, ripe stone and tropical fruit and juicy fruit chewing gum on the nose, its seems to have what I associate with a hot climate, a touch of rubber band – I thought at first that this was an Aussie, but it is from Hawkes Bay. There's plenty of toasty oak, canned fruit salad and pineapple in the palate building to a rich full savoury finish but it's just a little overdone in the oak department. An easy going style for those who like oaky chardonnay. 14% alc. Cork. 16/20. 7Mar2004.
Morton Estate Three Vineyards Chardonnay 2000 (c) If you like Chardonnay with a bit of age then consider this. Light in colour for its age it is nicely developed in its taste with a slightly nutty flavour adding to the richness. Toasty with creamy oak, good acidity, stonefruits, melon and a long mouthfilling savoury, spicy oak finish. Dry. Drinking well now. 14% alc. $19.95. 12Jul2004.
Montana Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 Pale lemon-gold. Buttery oak aromas. Rich and full in the mouth with toasty peach, vanilla and lemon custard, then lingering spicy oak. Popular with the group I tasted it with. 2Aug2001
Mount Riley Seventeen Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2000
Mt Difficulty Central Otago Chardonnay 2000 Yeasty scents. Mealy yeasty flavours at first then soft butterscotch. Nutty finish.- Plenty of barrel influence at this youthful stage with hints of apricot and stone fruit. Attractive wine with well integrated vanillin oak that does not overpower. 7 Aug 2001.
Neudorf Nelson Chardonnay 2000 (Nelson) Barrel ferment and all the works on this one. Hints of grapefruit. Nicely integrated oak, spicy melon, nuts and lanolin and a juicy finish. $26.95 RRP. 20Mar2002.
Ngatarawa Alwyn Chardonnay 2000 Gosh, this is a delicious rich toasty beautifully balanced wine. Long, seamless, delicious. $34 is a very competitive price for a wine of this quality. 23Sep2002.
Nikau Point Hawkes Bay unoaked Chard 2000 14% Tropical fruit aroma. Quite vibrant stonefruit flavours with peach and nectarine on a leesy pineapple layer with hints of fruit salad with banana. Refreshing full-bodied and flavoursome unoaked style. 4* $? 10May2002
Odyssey Reserve Illiad Gisborne Chardonnay 2000 Rich toasty leesy scents. This is a lovely wine in the palate with hits of citrus, tropical and apricot fruits, a lovely creamy spine, very rounded and balanced with a warm, pleasing finish and a lingering toasted biscuity aftertaste. Butterscotch will develop with age. Just gorgeous today. $24.95. 19Sep2001.
Okahu Estate Clifton Northland Chardonnay 2000 A rich mealy, wheaty, leesy wine with quite a bit of malo influence. Quite ripe, stonefruit, yellow plums and a subtle oak influence that does not intrude. Flavours that linger are quite pleasant, ripe with a touch of citrus over stonefruit. Sound wine, nothing special. Bronze Easter Show 2002. 80% malo, aged in American and French oak on lees, 13%. Dec2002.
Omaka Springs Reserve Chardonnay 2000 There's an attractive nose with peach and nectarine. In the palate there's spicy oak with peach and citrus. Creamy malo characters emerge on the nutty finish. It's full bodied, ripe, balanced and great drinking now. 16Nov2001.
Oyster Bay Chardonnay 2000 Toasty little number. A little prickly with some - light and frivolous - with a little citrus and buttery oak. Hot finish with lingering spice. $18.95 16/20 23 May 2001
Palliser Estate Chardonnay 2000 Subtle spice and tasty scents. Nicely balanced leesy wine with peach-sweet fruits and a touch of classy spicy honeyed oak, of which the spiciness becomes more dominant on the finish. $32. 24Sep2001.
Pegasus Bay Waipara Chardonnay 2000 Lovely toasty wine with grapefruit, peach and fig. Totally gorgeous in the typical mould of all Pegasus Bay wines. Pre-release taste. 17Sep2001.
Quarry Road Te Kauwhata Chardonnay 2000 Lightly oaked, lemony, oxidative style. Second bottle a little fresher. Lemony flavour and buttery character from the malolactic quite dominating. $20. 9Dec2001
Ransom Gumfield Chardonnay 2000 ($18) lightly oaked with a pleasing texture and flavours of fresh peach and fig with a hint of butterscotch. July 2001
RD1 Chardonnay 2000 (Central Otago) Rich and creamy with plenty of malolactic character, but very well done malolactic. Toasty and creamy with peach, melon fruit flavours. Satiny-like texture. Rich and opulent with a balanced spine of oak and a lovely finish and length. Tasty wine. 28Aug2001
Rimu Grove Nelson Chardonnay 2000 A little more tropical on the nose. Sweet figgy fruit, leesy and spicy with integrated oak and a touch of honeydew melon. Good acidity, a bright little chard that lingers well. $28.95. 6Feb2002.
Sacred Hill Hawkes Bay Rifleman's Chardonnay 2000 Rich, toasty, stonefruit flavours, good use of oak. Quite silky and very long with good mealy Burgundian-style flavours lingering. Outstanding wine. NZ$34.95. 22Jul2002.
Saint Clair Chardonnay 2000 Bright with golden glints. Upfront oak gives way to citrus and pineapple with peach as well. Very ripe and round with sweet vanillin American oak. Nicely balanced. 50% oak, half new. Rest tank fermented and aged wine. Butterscotch malo - Dry finish.. $19.95 13 June 2001
Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay 2000 Golden coloured and richly aromatic with buttery oak, dried figs and just a hint of grapefruit, this is a finely polished wine that is complex and intense, rich and mouthfilling. There's a myriad of flavours reminding me of butterscotch, honey on toast, stonefruit, grilled citrus and dried tropical fruits that linger with savoury spicy oak on the finish. A terrific Chardonnay that is drinking beautifully right now but still has plenty of life ahead of it. Those who have this in their cellar won't be disappointed. 12Feb2003.
Schubert Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Sweet and juicy pineapple, tropical fruit, fleshy peach and nicely worked oak with a touch of spice. Refreshing on a hot summer's day. $25. 18Nov2001.
Selaks Drylands Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 (about $16.50) in its tall elegant bottle may sneak under $15 when specialled. Flavours like peach and grilled pineapple are intertwined with warm, toasty oak. This is a great wine for entertaining as well as for everyday drinking. **** March 2001
Selaks Founders Chardonnay 2000 Nutty citrus aroma with a touch of grapefruit. Heaps of milky malolactic and toasty oak. Rich, creamy and full-bodied with lingering peach and citrus. 23 May 2001
Soljans Barrique Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Pale gold, this is a big buttery oaky chardonnay with a honey caramel butterscotch toastiness. If you like oak you will like this wine. Sweet ripe fruit with melon, toasted pineapple, candied orange and citrus on a creamy, yeasty backbone. 12Oct2001.
Stonecroft Chardonnay 2000 (13.5% abv) has only been bottled about a month. There's fine spice on the nose and a tight structure in the palate. It's richly flavoured with mellow peaches, nectarine and melons with a smattering of yeasty, leesy, mealy, complexities. This wine is going to develop gorgeously. It's very fine with nice toasty barrel flavours from the French oak-50% new-50% old. It's a lovely wine with excellent length, the lifted stone fruit flavours lingering. Alan Limmer says "This is the best we've done", from the vines he planted in 1983. He explained that he actually made 6 or 7 wines to blend into the finished product, using a variety of techniques, natural ferments, etc. For a food accompaniment I can imagine freshly picked summer sweetcorn, placed in the microwave with the outer leaves intact, then cooked until tender and served with lashings of butter. $30.00. 26Feb2001.
St Francis Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 A very approachable wine with thick mealy (muesli) characters and figs, melon and peach and a sweet, ripe finish. This is not a wine for keeping as you will want to drink it straight away. May 2001
Tasman Bay Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 (about $19). With its buttery aromas, baked apple and citrus flavour, spicy oak and a toasted, honeyed texture, it was a delicious accompaniment to an entrée of deep-fried Camembert. **** March 2001
Te Mata Estate Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Pale in the glass. Quality aromas of toast, peaches and nuts and mouthfilling ripe fruit flavours. Full bodied and broad in the palate with a lovely intensity - rich but not overpowering - and full of ripe peaches with tropical hints of banana passionfruit and pineapple emerging later. Its fresh and lively with a creamy character accompanying the zinginess of the soft acidity. Buttery notes, tending almost to butterscotch, linger on the finish along with the fruity flavours of the wine. Delicious with a hot-smoked salmon cake served with chive hollandaise. $18. WOTW 12Nov2000.
Te Mata Elston Chardonnay 2000 Straw gold in colour and fairly rich in appearance with its golden hues. It smells like a classy chardonnay with buttery, spicy oak and honey yeast aromas. The structure is very tightly moulded at this stage, giving little away but the balance of the wine is obvious. Hints of tropical fruit combine with honeyed pineapple and citrus on a layer of vanilla, subtle cedar and spice, while the mealy character of the spice yeasty flavours add to the taste experience. It is a lovely, rich wine and will be just gorgeous in about 6 months time and 'absolutely fabulous' in 2-3 years from now. This is a 5-star offering without a doubt. 13Mar2001.
Te Whare Ra Duke of Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 Well balanced, peach and citrus, with smoky spicy oak and a good lingering finish. $25. 17Oct2001.
Twin Islands Chardonnay 2000 A toasty peachy wine with nice varnishy oak loitering in the background. $16. 24Sep2001.
Vavasour Awatere Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 Very toasty with spicy oak and ripe fruit flavours. There's a nice citrus tone running though the wine and the flavours fill out with melons and stonefruit. A sweet ripe finish. (Oops didn't get the price). 22Jul2002.
Vavasour Marlborough Chardonnay 2000
Vidal Chardonnay 2000 Nice, soft peachy fruit, very soft and round, hint of spice on nose and in palate. Only been bottled a week and should come up well with a little tine to settling. Building in power in the mouth. Very little new oak which adds to the body but not to the taste. 16.5/20 at this stage. Tasted 30/10/2000
Vidal Estate Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Totally gorgeous! Plenty of intense fruit, classy honeyed oak, leesy richness, stone fruits and buts. A beautiful wine that is drinking well now but will evolve nicely. Butterscotch lingers on the nutty, rounded full finish. $30. 5Nov2001.
Villa Maria Private Bin Gisborne Chardonnay 2000 Soft buttery to butterscotch. Seasoned oak adds to the weight of this tropical fruit flavoured wine with peachy complexities. Sweet and full with a toasty nuttiness. 17.5/20. Tasted 30/10/2000
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000
Fleshy stonefruit with peach, melon and some flashes from the tropics. Quite milky and rich. Medium acidity. Very tight at this stage but full and mellow on the palate. 5Nov2001.
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 Rich leesy wine with medium acidity, stonefruits and citrus, slightly oily texture, honey, ginger spice, oak and creamy malo which gives a butterscotch caramel layer. A lovely, lifted honey and burnt butter finish. Very nice. NZ$20. 5Nov2001.
Villa Maria 'King Vineyard' Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 Lemon custard aromas. Good acidity lifts the wine in the palate. Plenty of leesy, grapefruit character with a full-bodied sweetness and a touch of caramel corn in the background. Good fruit flavours linger with well integrated oak on the rich finish. A bright chardonnay with the potential to age. $NZ22. 5Nov2001.
Villa Maria 'Fletcher Vineyard' Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 Smoky oak, quite leesy, perfumed and floral. Mouthfilling sweet ripe fruit with plenty of acid. A wine that needs time to evolve. The potential is shown on the finish when the lovely sweet fruit leaving a glorious aftertaste. $NZ40. 5Nov2001.
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne Chardonnay 2000 Very tight on the nose. Hints of peach. Lovely array of flavours - tropical, citrus, fig - on a tightly structured sweet oak layer. Nice leesy characters though well melded. Grapefruit and nut characters linger. Very smart. $NZ35. 5Nov2001.
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2000 Lemon gold. Hints of grapefruit them leesy notes on the nose. Very, very tight and leesy in the palate - needs time to evolve. Grapefruit dominates with the sweet ripeness of stonefruit trying to emerge. Some lemon meringue on the finish. One for the cellar. NZ$30. 5Nov2001.
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2000 A lovely rich and perfectly balanced wine. Warm and leesy in the mouth with a viscous honey texture, spice, melon, citrus, some stone fruit and a smoky, slightly meaty nuance. Very classy oak, a spicy layer and rich concentration of fruit. Some apricot emerges on the finish. A classic Villa Maria Marlborough chardonnay - excellent drinking now but will cellar. Try this with melon wrapped in prosciutto. NZ$33. 5Nov2001.
Voss Estate St Martin Vineyard Chardonnay 2000 ($26.95). Youthful appearance, pale. Excellent aroma. Nutty, leesy, bubblegum, spice, citrus. Quite hot on the finish which detracts from the overall enjoyment. ***1/2 11 April 2001
Waimea Estates Bolitho Nelson Chardonnay 2000 Well developed golden colour. Grapefruit and yeasty aromas. More Euro in style with developed kero-like and toasty hints. Sweet ripe peachy fruit with lifted acidity, although a little 'hot' in the palate. Creamy texture, well-integrated oak and a long nutty finish in which toasty grapefruit emerges. I can see why the judges found this wine attractive and awarded gold medals at 2 shows last year. $32.95. 30Jan2002.
Waipara Springs Barrique Chardonnay 2000 Straw gold in colour. Milky, leesy aromas with a strong oak influence in the palate. Citrus, peach and clove-like spice linger. The spices are very strong to the point of being overpowering. $21. 24Sep2001.
West Brook Barrique Fermented Chard 2000 Ripe fruit, spicy buttery oak, peach and citrus flavours. Creamy milky finish. Pleasant wine with lingering spice. 7Aug2001.
Wither Hills Chardonnay 2000 Well coloured with attractive aromas of spicy vanillin custard oak. Full and round with a mealy honeyed oak, ripe peach and melon, lingering stonefruit and a biscuity richness. Later, citrus comes into the equation as well and there's lingering flavour reminiscent of dried fruits like pineapple and papaya. $27. 3Dec2001.