Wine of the Week Home

Wine Blog

Blog (2007-2012)

Tasting Notes

Food File

Old Stuff
WOTW archives

Vinous Links

About NZ Wine

About this Site

Wine of the Week logo
Wine of the Week info
edited by Sue Courtney

Wine Reviews - Chardonnay
2001 vintage
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 19 Dec 2004

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.

Click on year to go to reviews for that vintage
[2008/2007] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000] [1999 and older] [index]

2001 Vintage [top] [index]

Allan Scott Chardonnay 2001 A ripe style, seems a little simple after the Linden. Ripe stonefruit, citrus and buttery barrel flavours. 9Sep2002.

Astrolabe Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Oak is very dominant at first. And a little bit raw. But then the canned peaches come through. Rich and creamy with a butter caramel influence and a lovely seam of citrus. A complex wine made in a complex style. A big full busty elegant wine. Starts with raw oak that needs to integrate. $19.95. 30Oct2002.

Ata Rangi Petrie Chardonnay 2001 Quite an approachable style with flavours of nectarine, fig and ripe stonefruit. Nice use of oak. A little buttery as well. A well-balanced wine with a rich figgy finish. 9Sep2002.

Black Barn Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2001 - Hawkes Bay Golden colour with an immediately appealing buttery, oily, oaky aroma, this is a rich and powerful Chardonnay with a barrel fermented leesy influence, malo, juicy stonefruits and a deliciously long finish. The full-on fruit flavours balance the polished spicy oak that leaves a tingly feeling in the mouth. Lovely smooth mellow wine. $25.95. 2Apr2003.

Carrick Central Otago Chardonnay 2001 Wild mealy scents. Quite a powerful wine in the mouth. Lots of barrel influence and honeyed oak character. Stonefruit and citrus and a dry steely finish with spicy, mealy oak flavours lingering. 9Sep2002.

Chancellor Estates Lightly Oaked Waipara Chardonnay 2001 Closed on the nose. Slightly nutty. Citrus influences. A dryish lean style. Needs food. 3/5. 17Oct2002.

Chancellor Estate Chardonnay 2001 Perfumed, musky, quite attractive aroma. Simple at first in the mouth but fills out well. A fruity wine with tropical fruit and hints of juicy citrus and passionfruit. Seems to have little oak influence. A nicely balanced easy drinking wine. 3.5 Served from a 1/2 bottle. 17Oct2002.

Chard Farm Judge and Jury Chardonnay 2001 - Central Otago Fruity aromas and lemon leesy flavours, good stonefruit weight with apricot, nectarines and their nectar-like juices. Tropical fruit and passionfruit emerge together with lots and lots of peppery spice. Well-integrated oak provides a solid structure without dominating the flavour and the ripe, fruity, creamy finish lingers well. 13.5% alc. $34.95. 21May2003. ***˝

Charles Wiffen Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Toasty, melon, spicy oak, lots of barrel work in this warm leesy wine with its hints of grilled pineapple and its very good, long finish with grapefruit lingering along with a toasty butter fatness. $22. 3Jul2002
Bright gold in colour with big buttery oatmeal-rich aromas, heaps of butter, citrus and spicy mealy oak flavours, this full, rich wine has a long powerful finish that lingers well with honeyed fig flavours. $21.95. 19Mar2003.

Clearview Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2001 Classy, rich, flavoursome, ripe and balanced. with all the works. 18Aug2002.
There is even more oatmeal in this bright gold wine together with opulent vanillin oak, fruit salad and custard aromas. There's lots of oak on the palate. "About much oak as you would find in any Chardonnay in New Zealand" said Kingsley Wood. But the oak is so well polished and balanced to the full on peach and apricot stone fruit, the underlying fruit acidity and the leesy flavours, it tastes just superb. $41.95. 19Mar2003.

Coopers Creek Unoaked Gisborne Chardonnay 2001 Honeyed fruit with hints of peach blossom on the nose. Nutty, oily style with hints of apples and bananas (amyl acetate produced by yeast during ferment). 100% mlf. Soft acids. Tropical finish god length and pleasing. Rich texture. $ 22Oct2001.

Coopers Creek Fat Cat Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Oak fermented in American oak barrels and with staves. Hints of bacon on the smoky nose. Lovely peach fruit and zesty citrus with a mellow oak layer. Hints of banana on the sweet ripe finish with lingering vanillin oak. 14.3%alc 3.5gms/rs. Widely available. Good volumes. Also US and Canada LCBO. NZ$15. 22Oct2001.

Craggy Range Seven Poplars Chardonnay 2001 Toast and custard. Lovely ripeness and balance. Very full-bodied and rich. Nectarines. Powerful. Rich. Complex. There's a lot going on in this wine. Ripe, sweet-fruited finish, creamy oak with lovely barrel spice complexities. Very stylish. Yes superb. $27. 2Oct2002.

Daniel Schuster Petrie Selection Chardonnay 2001 Quite a powerful wine with spice, citrus and a leesy influence. However I do not like the sour finish and the bitter mealy aftertaste. There are also overpowering sickly malolactic flavours that detract. 2.5/5. 17Oct2002.

Drylands Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Straw gold. Smoky aromas. Simple style. Good palate weight. A fresh and fruity easy drinking. Melons. Creamy. Lots of lemon acidity lingers with tobacco on the sharpish finish. 16/20. Not exciting. Just easy drinking. $18. 2Oct2002.
Is it the benefit of bottle age? This wine is delicious drinking right now. Ripe flavours with spicy, creamy oak and a good depth of fruit. It's a fruit-filled, easy-drinking style with a sweet flavoured finish that lingers well. A very well-made wine at a very good price. Fr & American oak. 13May2003.

Esk Valley Black Label Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2001 Bottles just 10 days when tasted. A richly textured tropical melee with stonefruit, pears and smoky notes. Excellent balance and integration of the buttery oak and fruit give a pleasing richness in the palate. Very drinkable at this early stage and good potential for the year to come. $20. 5Nov2001.

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2001 This is a great wine from a difficult vintage showing flavours of oak, stonefruit, melon, figs, nuts and honey. This label has always offered class and value for money. $20 19Jul2002.

Felton Road Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2001 - Bannockburn, CO Bright golden hued in the glass, this is a ripe fruity and full-bodied creamy buttery chardonnay with aromas and flavours of figs, stonefruit and spicy vanillin oak and a long, delicious finish that lingers with the flavour of ripe, juicy, windfallen Central Otago apricots. $34.95. 26Feb2003.
Medium gold. Funky wild yeast with a biscuity, mealy influence on the nose and in palate together with nuts, figs, citrus and stonefruit. It’s slightly earthy with a smooth texture and a warm, long finish. There's plenty of spicy oak influence together with bright acidity that lifts the finish and extends the length. Drinking really well now. 4Mar2004.

Forrest Estate Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2001 - Marlborough
Pale lemon. Perfumed peachy aromas with a leesy, vanillin, spicy oak influence, this is a rich, full-bodied and lengthy wine with a smooth creamy texture. It's hot and spicy with vanilla, butterscotch and nutty leesy flavours at first then some juicy tropical fruit emerges on the lingering spicy oak finish. Sealed with a screwcap. ****. 14.5% alc. $17.95. 18Jun2003.

Framingham Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Rich and mealy with figs, citrus, nuts and stonefruit. Finishes dry. Wheaty lees flavours linger. 9Sep2002.

Gibbston Valley Greenstone Chardonnay 2001 An unoaked chardonnay. Pale coloured aromatic wine, bright and zesty and full of flavour. This will be a popular summer style in the Gibbston Valley's vineyard restaurant, where the prices are a little irreverent to the rest of the country. $23. 24Sep2001.

Gibbston Valley Reserve Chardonnay 2001 (sc) Lime gold in colour with nicely developed broad mealy, wet wheat scents. Full-bodied, rich and spicy with ripe apricot and citrus and then a kick of polished oak, this mouthfilling wine has heaps going for it. Classy winemaking with barrel-fermentation and lees-stirring to give a yummy complexity with a buttery lactic influence and caramel butterscotch lingering on the dry savoury finish. Matured in French oak barrels for 10 months. 14% alc. 17Dec2004.

Goldwater Waiheke Island 'Zell' Chardonnay 2001 There's a fabulous smoky fragrance to this lovely rich, full-bodied wine that has a steely backbone keeping that concentrated ripe melon-like fruit in check. A silky creamy texture and a smoky, finish with the exotic scents of spiced cured meats. Beautiful. NZ$36-40. 22Jul2002.

Grove Mill Chardonnay 2001 A user-friendly style. Stonefruit, citrus, an earthy richness and a full-bodied ripe finish. Very easy. 9Sep2002.
Mealy flavours dominate on the nose then in the mouth it is fairly dry and tight. I find this very rich and textural with a nice combo of warm creamy (old) oak and rich yeasty flavours but without any fruit flavours really dominating at this stage. Far too young and will come into its own over the next few months to be superb for Christmas 2003. Aged on yeast lees for a year. Gold medal in IWC October 2002 - the 4th Grove Mill chardonnay in a row to win gold. 6Nov2002.
Lovely influence of French oak on the nose with a whiff of white fleshed pach. A buttery creamy wine that makes others go 'yum'. Great length of flavour. Figgy, long, flavoursome. Was perfect with a Baked ham glazed with pineapple. 31Dec2002.

Kawarau Estate Cromwell Otago Reserve Chardonnay 2001 Leesy, grapefruit, smoky Burgundian-like aroma. Very ripe stonefruit flavours with nectarine and citrus and earthy notes with hints of mushroom. This wine is oozing class. It's quite savoury, smoky, spicy and long with lovely balance and integration and an excellent finish. 5. 17Oct2002.

Kemblefield Signature Chardonnay 2001 Appealing fruity aromas with a hint of toasty oak. Spicy tropical fruit flavours. An Appealing 5 o'clock drinkies style. 8Aug2002. $17.

Kumeu River Chardonnay 2001 Fragrant pear, melon and tropical fruit aromas with the complexity of mellow oak. A rich, full-bodied and silky textured wine with lovely concentrated chardonnay flavours of citrus, tropical fruit and savoury oak. It's a rich full wine with excellent vinosity and long lingering finish. Drinking absolutely superbly on the day and rated as excellent with a 'yum' factor. RRP NZ$35.95. 13Aug2002.
Golden yellow with green glints, this looks bright in the glass. Toasted nuts dominate the nose. Sweetish spicy oak, pear, peach, lemon, grapefruit, banana and tropical fruits with lots of mealy, nutty wine making complexities and a very long, creamy oak finish. Quite Burgundian-like. 13% alc. $35.95. 25Jun2003.

Kumeu River Maté's Vineyard Chardonnay 2001 Harvested from chardonnay grapes grown in the best part of Maté's Vineyard opposite the winery, this yellow gold coloured wine is seemingly more delicate and subtle on the nose than the Kumeu Chardonnay. It's brightly flavoured in the mouth with melon and pineapple fruit and then powerful citrus flavours before a mealy nuttiness emerges. It's a deliciously long and flavour-filled wine with extra richness on the palate, more obvious spicy oak and a seemingly drier finish. This is a benchmark chardonnay that offers delicious drinking now but one that I sense will bloom with careful cellaring. Fermented and matured in old oak, just 300 cases were made. RRP NZ$45.95. 13Aug2002.

Lawsons Dry Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Lemon gold coloured with peachy scents, subtle oak, melon and lemon flavours and a creamy texture. There's just a hint of sharpness on the finish. $25. 16Mar2003.

Linden Estate Chardonnay 2001 Creamy stonefruit aroma with an oaky influence. Leesy mealy flavours, honeyed oak, poached peaches and pears. 15% new oak and just bottled when tasted gives that dominant oak character on the nose. "will settle back". Nice full-bodied wine with delicious melon flavours and a creamy butterscotch finish. Nice drinking. 12%.alc. 9Sep2002.

Littlefields Torbay Chardonnay 2001 This unoaked 'boutique' wine made by Ted Brock from his 150 chardonnay vines in his 'backyard, was a surprise. Pale gold with a lime tinge. Citrus and stonefruits and an apricot kernel character. An okay wine with a medium body and flavours of melon lingering. Not for sale. 18May2002.

Main Divide Chardonnay 2001 A blend of Canterbury and Marlborough fruit. Toasty and leesy with hints of lanolin, melon and stewed apple fruit with plenty of citrus to make it exciting. Long, warm and flavoursome. Very good wine. 13.5% alc. $17. 26Apr2002
A blend of Marlborough and Canterbury fruit. Grapefruit and leesy aromas. Lots of bready lemon flavours, a little bit of savoury oak. Creamy at first with a prickly citrus and steely finish, reminiscent of a Chablis. $19. 8Aug2002.

Martinborough Vineyards Chardonnay 2001 Well made, mealy, peachy wine. Lots of wild yeast barrel ferment characters, melon, peach and citrus with a toasty lift to the spicy honey oak finish. Mouthfilling with steely citrus over ripe stonefruit and plums. 9Sep2002.
There's a citrus/lemon bread character to this rich, mealy wine, with dried stonefruits, spice and honeyed oak. Intense and mouthfilling.11Nov2003.

Matariki Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2001 Dark straw to pale gold. A more full-bodied style with a sweet mealy backbone and quite luscious flavours of peach with warm mellow oak adding interest. There are underlying barrel ferment character of nuts and figs and touch of citrus lifts the spicy melon and mellow oak finish. Lovely mouthfeel. Lively and approachable. $27.50. 11Oct2003.

Matariki Reserve Chardonnay 2001 Creamy yellow. An immediately sweeter smelling wine than the Mount Riley with oily concentrated fruit and again a hint of botrytis (as per the previous 2001 HB Chardonnay tasted). Smooth textured honeyed oak in the palate with vanilla and lemon bread, it’s oily and savoury with rich mealy flavours then peach and marmalade coming through to linger on the finish. A wine that is still evolving. ****. 13.5% alc. $36.95. 18Jun2003.
Bright yellow gold with bready aromas, this is a big mealy style. It's very dry with well-integrated savoury oak, a wine that is influenced by winemaking characters rather than the chardonnay fruit. There's some spicy acidity on the finish which lingers with sherbetty grapefruit making an appearance. It's a lovely, rounded, big full-bodied wine and the flavour is persistent and long. $35.50. 11Oct2003.

Matua Matheson Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2001 This has really lovely mellow peach and melon flavour with a full-bodied palate weight enhanced by spicy French oak. It's really mealy and rich but with a beautiful balance and a warm smoky finish. 25Jul2002. ****1/2.
Yellow. Slight hints of botrytis on the nose with aromas of honey and beeswax. Smoky and toasty in the palate with honey-cured bacon and mealy, savoury oak flavours joining exotic yellow fruits, white raisins and biscuits, with a good fruit richness on the finish. Bottle variation was again apparent in the room. Ours was good in comparison. Gold medal winner. ****. 13% alc. $19.95. 18Jun2003.

Mills Reef Reserve Chardonnay 2001 - Hawkes Bay Yellow gold - looks quite golden for its age. Smoky nose, lots of melon flavours amongst the spicy buttery oak with a hint of tropical fruit leading to a creamy finish with smoky nutty oak flavours lingering. Served chilled, this is a lively tasty wine to start the evening and it was well received.$19.95. 5Mar2003.

Mission Reserve Moteo Chardonnay 2001 Spicy, leesy, biscuity, caramel butter, reasonably hot and alcoholic. Toasty, mealy and creamy. Classy winemaking, lees contact and malolactic characters overpower the fruit. Too malo/milky for me but plenty of other people liked it. $18.95 5 Jun2002.

Montana Marlborough Barrique Fermented Reserve Chardonnay 2001 This young wine with its buttery oak aromas and woody flavours is an oak lovers dream. It's straw gold in colour with honey baked canned apricot and syrupy peach fruit then more buttery oak that lingers. Personally I would like to let the oak meld for a further six months and indeed the wine remaining in the bottle tasted better to my palate the next day. I remember the 2000 vintage of this wine was also very oaky in its early youth but by the end of the year it had blossomed into one of the most delicious summer chardonnays. $19. 2May2002

Morton Estate White Label Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2001 Butterscotch and toffee on the nose, a little minerally (steely) at first but later quite smoky. Immediately mouthfilling with layers of spicy oak and citrus, smooth textured, fruity, earthy and savoury at the same time. Rich and full-bodied, it’s a big wine without being too complex. The overt spicy oak plays a big part. 14% alc. $15.95. 21May2004.

Morton Estate Private Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2001 (sc) Light yellow gold. Smooth and buttery with mouthfilling butterscotch and melons, savoury oak on the finish and a nutty, buttery aftertaste with lovely fruit flavours coming through. A really sophisticated Chardonnay with a lovely marriage of fruit and oak. Great drinking at the price. 15% alc. $19.95. 28Aug2004.
Bright yellow gold with toasty oak and buttery pineapple scents, this is full of massive fruit, oak and buttery characters with toffee, spice, stonefruit, melons and a deliciously long toasty savoury finish. 15% alc. 22Sep2004.

Morton Estate Riverview Chardonnay Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2001 There's plenty of spicy buttery oak in this rich and smooth wine with caramel, citrus and melon. Rounded and balanced with a savoury oak finish. It really needs a little time to let the oak meld. Or decant. $18.95. 14% alc. 28Aug2004.

Mount Riley Seventeen Valley Chardonnay 2001 - Marlborough This wine smells so refined - there's oak but it is subtle and so in sync to the fruit leesy scents. It tastes just gorgeous with a multitude of leesy, mealy, peachy and spicy flavours, vanillin oak, hokey pokey and a long dry finish. There's good underlying acidity, making it a good cellaring proposition if you can restrain yourself to put it away. A super fine wine. The judges got this right by awarding this wine the trophy. If you don't like this you may as well give up on Chardonnay! $32.95. 19Mar2003.
Golden yellow. Rich, wheaty, mealy and creamy with peachy perfumed oak, this concentrated powerful wine is hot, rich, dry, and savoury. There's layer upon layer of flavour with ripe peachy fruit, citrus, toffee and spice. It has the benefit of a little bottle development and is opening up well and drinking rather deliciously right now. *****. 14.5% alc. $32.95. 18Jun2003.

Muddy Water Waipara Chardonnay 2001 This warm mealy, wheaty wine has toasty oak, nuts, sweet fruit and a toffee caramel-like finish. Very smooth and integrated and oh so drinkable at the 5 o'clock after work drinks. I would have enjoyed a second glass but there were more wines to taste later that evening. 10Jul2002.

Murdoch James Unoaked Chardonnay 2001 Medium gold in colour with poached peach aromas, floral nuances and honey on the lifted aromatic nose. In the palate there's zesty spicy fruit with a pleasantly oily texture and some ripe luscious fruit It is a full-bodied rich style with good palate weight and length, and works nicely without the aid of wood. 14% alc. $23. 2Oct2001.

Nga Waka Martinborough Chardonnay 2001 Smoky, very dry and tight but long, rich and savoury with smoky toasty stonefruits. 24Jul2003.

Nobilo Icon Chardonnay 2001 - Marlborough. Complex aromas of melon-like fruit accompanied by spicy French oak. Malo buttery flavours are quite dominant in the palate and there is lots of that distinctive Marlborough acid but with this wine the components are in harmony. There's ripe melon and stone fruit, nutty oak and butterscotch with some lovely peach-like flavours lingering on the smooth-textured dry finish. This wine should have only very slight chilling, otherwise the acidity will become too apparent. $22.95. 15Jan2003.

Odyssey Reserve Illiad Gisborne Chardonnay 2001 Savoury nutty aroma then in the mouth, savoury, meaty, spicy oak and a creamy slightly oily texture. The finish is good and strong but also a little hard and leaves quite a tingly feeling in the mouth. 3.5 /5. 17Oct2002.

Okahu Estate Clifton Chardonnay 2001 Medium gold hues Caramel, butterscotch, buttery oak aromas with a touch of lemon peel. Very buttery in the mouth, strong diacetyl flavours and rich stonefruits. Full-bodied, mouthcoating, good finish however with a touch of spice. 12Apr2003.

Old Vines Te Kauwhata Chardonnay 2001 Touch of oak. Buttery, creamy flavours accompany stonefruits. Nice summer drinking style. Nice label too. Very good with a kumara, pineapple and cheese pizza from the winery café. $19.95 9Dec2001

Olssen's Barrel Ferment Chardonnay 2001 Showing quite of bit of developed flavour, they are moving away from the style. Looking for a niche with later vintages, less crop, less malo, etc. 5Oct2004.

Oyster Bay Chardonnay 2001 - Marlborough. This straw gold coloured wine emits reasonably appealing tropical fruit and buttery oak aromas. However once the wine is in the mouth the chunky oak is hard and the pineapple flavour is so dominant it makes the wine taste unappealingly acidic. A fairly ordinary chardonnay that is showing disjointed oak, malo and acid right now. $21.95. 15Jan2003.

Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2001 Lovely rich ripe wine - easily the star of the chardonnays in the room today. Full and ripe with lots of mealy flavours but so in balance with the rest of the flavours. A creamy ripe style. 9Sep2002.
Big, rich, ripe and mealy with peachy flavours and lots of oaky tannins. Dry finish. 3Dec2002.
Bright gold with a green tinge. Emitting strong smoky, mealy aromas. This is a well-worked wine with a mellow yeasty influence, stonefruit and smoked savoury meat flavours and rich toasted grapefruit and spicy oak flavours lingering. The flavour is almost overpowering in a broad mellow way. It's quite tight knit right now and looks to have lots of life ahead of it and should unfold well. 14% alc. $31.95 30Apr2003.

Pencarrow Martinborough Chardonnay 2001 Apple-like aromas. Bright acidity, lemons, apples and stonefruit flavours, a touch of oak? Nice palate weight. So zesty I thought SB at first, the guy next to me said Chardonnay. Could it be a Sauv/Chard blend? said another. Apples and lemon flavours linger with creamy oak on the finish and there is a touch of herbaceousness too. That's what made me think oak-aged SB. Wrong! Pretty darn drinkable though without too much of a worry. Good wine for the price of NZ$16. 20Mar2002.
Fig, grapefruit, dried apple and nectarine - a most fruity style with a warm supporting backbone of honeyed oak. 14% alc, $16. 26Apr2002

Pukawa Lake Taupo Chardonnay 2001 Leesy stonefruit and pineapple aromas with plenty of fruit in the palate are backed up with subtle creamy oak. It's a pleasant drinking light style with a touch of sweetness on the perfumed finish. $17. 2Jan2002.

Ransom Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2001 Intense yellow gold colour - very deep for a young wine. Toffee flavours - toffee apples pears and honey. I'm told the grapes were very shrivelled and concentrated and the result is a rich honeyed wine with an apricot flavour. Will be nice in the right situation. $26. 26May2002.

Rimu Grove Chardonnay 2001 Another terrific Nelson chardonnay and the second in a row from Rimu Grove. A well worked wine with buttery, less, barrel ferment characters, stone fruit, citrus, hints of the tropics, bready, leesy, cashews. Bright and lively in the mouth with a full-bodied, bready finish. 21Apr2003.

Saint Clair Explorer Chardonnay 2001 - Marlborough Pale yellow in colour with smoky oak, juicy tropical fruit and a hint of estery bubble-gum on the nose. Light and bright, showing its fresh youthfulness in the palate with mandarins, grapefruit peel and hints of lime. Leesy, nutty, milky flavours dominate the finish and linger with lots of savoury oak. 13.5% alc. $17.95. ***1/2. 18Jun2003.

Saint Clair Unoaked Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 The malolactic treatment in this wine is so overdone in that it masks any endearing features the wine might have had. It's more like toffee ice cream in flavour, than wine. Saint Clair usually makes wonderful wines but something has gone amiss here. $16. 16May2002.

Saint Clair Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Straw coloured wine with melon and citrus aromas. A fruity wine with melon, citrus and a touch of pineapple. Medium length finish. A sound commercial chardonnay.

Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay 2001 (Marlborough) Straw gold. Quite oaky aromas and toasty oak dominates the palate. Plenty of rich stonefruit, though, in the typical Saint Clair mould with a lovely fruit sweetness that lingers with spicy oak. It's full-bodied, rich, powerful and mealy with a long finish with that hints of summer flowers with just a hint of musk. An intense wine, I can see this following its predecessors on the Show scene. $26.95. 20Mar2002 & subsequent days.
Toasty melon & fig aromas. Delicious creamy, mealy, fig, warm toasty, rounded and balanced with a sweetish ripe peach finish. Oak not so overt as in previous years. Reminiscent of pop corn on the creamy peach finish. Excellent value for money. 3Jun2002.

Sanctuary Chardonnay 2001 (second label of Grove Mill). Apple, pear and slightly yeasty marmite aromas. Good lemon acidity and bubble gum in the medium-bodied toasty palate. Seems to have very little oak influence though and the finish is quite fruity. Good entry-level quaffer. $14.95. 30Jan2002.

Selaks Premium Selection Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 A light, easy drinking "5 o'clock drinkies" style of chardonnay with upfront citrus, mellows oak, a hint of a leesy character and lingering pineapple. In fact I had some fresh pineapple and have to say the match was terrific. Remember the 'pineapple and cheese on a toothpick stuck into a grapefruit' party food of the sixties? This is the one for this wine. $14. 16May2002.

Selaks Founders Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Lots of lemon honey oak. Delicious concentrated peach and sweet mealy flavours. New oak gives a smoky finish. Lot of citrus & yeast flavours linger. Needs a little time to let the oak develop. 10Jul2002
Pale gold in colour with grapefruit, honey, caramel and toasty oak on the nose, this is a very leesy, mealy, toasty chardonnay with a grippy texture, lots of juicy stonefruits and citrus to give a firm acid backbone. There's good development in this rich, full-bodied wine. Toffee caramel flavours linger. It seems a little hot, however. I think it would be better with food. 13.5% alc. $26.95. 2Jul2003.
Rich creamy caramel and butterscotch aroma, this is quite a powerful wine, it starts slow but builds up well, Buttery texture, vanillin oak with a touch of clove, stone fruits and citrus. It lasted well in the bottle as was still big, rich and toasty caramel a week later. 22Aug2003.

Seresin Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Grapefruit leesy aromas. Lots of bright acidity marries with warm spicy oak and malty wheaty flavours. Huge wine but so youthful. Butterscotch and ?? on the finish. $32.95. 30Oct2002.

Sileni Selection Chardonnay 2001 Nice creamy chardonnay to start. Buttery pineapple flavours and spicy oak. Very approachable and tasty user friendly wine. A blend of Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Marlborough fruit. $22. 27Mar2002.

Spencer Hill Coastal Ridge Nelson Chardonnay 2001 Toasted melon and peach aromas. Lovely full-bodied mellow wine with flavours of melon and sound spicy fruit. A bright refreshing finish. Delicious wine - one of the best chardonnay on display at Wine New Zealand. 18Aug2002.

St Francis Chardonnay 2001 - Hawkes Bay. Up front ripe to overripe citrus flavours, the oak is very subdued after the Stony Creek but becomes more apparent and the flavours become more peachy/apricot as wine lingers. Reasonable finish. $21.95. 8Jan2003.

Stonecroft Chardonnay 2001 Straw gold in colour, this toasty buttery, mealy, nuts and figs wine has a lovely rich palate weight and intense concentration. Ripe honeyed stonefruits that remind me of the orange fleshed peaches from our own tree. Thick & rich, seamless and elegant, this wine will develop well in the bottle over next 12 months. $37.50. 16 Feb2002.

Stoneleigh Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Butterscotch, caramel and creamy spicy savoury oak with a lemony lift to the fruit salad finish. Lots of citrus - lemons, orange and grapefruit, together with creamy/milky mlf and spicy savoury oak. A mellow, dryish wine, the savoury and fruity flavours linger well. (***1/2). 17Jun2003.

Te Awa Farm Longlands Chardonnay 2001 Spicy oak, peach flavours, malo influence on the milky creamy palate. Quite mealy. A bit like still Champagne. NZ on the front of the palate but definitely a Burgundian finish. Very good. 4* $20. 17Jul2002.

Te Mata Elston Chardonnay 2001 Mealy, lanolin aromas have the merest hint of grapefruit zest and pineapple. Mealy, milky, grapefruit flavours continue to the palate. Pretty youthful and tight at this stage but I like the ripe stonefruit that emerges and lingers. The oak regime is not for oak lovers - it adds a full-bodied complexity and smokiness on the finish without intruding. Fabulous long term potential. Nine components from five vineyards are used for this barrel fermented and aged wine. 13.0% alcohol. ~NZ$37-40. 26Mar2002.
Bright gold lime hints. Rich, buttery, oaky chard. Very toasty with grapefruit citrus, nuts, spice smoked meats and a savoury complexity. Dry spicy finish. Full on style but perhaps lacks some elegance. Would like to see it in 6 months. 7.5. 31Jul2002.
Grapefruit aromas, leesy and creamy with ripe stonefruit and hints of butterscotch. Very dry. A nice mealy French oak character lingers. 9Sep2002.

Te Mata Woodthorpe Chardonnay 2001 Lemon gold in colour this has lovely toasty pineapple oak aromas and flavours with a touch of vanillin and the richness of peach. It soft and mellow in texture with baked apples, stonefruit and tropical fruit lingering with a bright spiciness on the toasty finish. Terrifically approachable now with a little more complexity to emerge over the forthcoming months. 13.0% alcohol. ~NZ$20. 26Mar2002.

Te Whare Ra Lightly Oaked Chard 2001 Hints of peachy oak on the nose. Oily textured with honey oak. Rich and sweet but light oak too dominant and smoky on a slightly spritzig palate. $19. 17Oct2001.

Thornbury Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Rich, mealy, spicy, loads of flavour. A terrific wine that I look forward to trying it again - hint, hint. Pre-release tasting. TBR 1st October 2002. Tasted 5Sep2002.

Trinity Hill Black Label Gimblett Road Chardonnay 2001 There's quite an obvious lemony malolactic influence in this pale gold coloured, creamy textured, nutty, leesy wine. It's tight in its youth and citrus and stonefruits fight to emerge from behind the winemaking influences, however as the wine open ups in the glass a buttery richness on the full-bodied finish shows some of the potential that will flourish. Savoury oak flavours linger. Try it with rich seafoods like scallops or crayfish. 4Aug2003.

TW Gisborne Chardonnay 2001 Toasty creamy nose and palate. Spicy with hints of cloves. A rich full-bodied style. 18Aug2002.

Vavasour Dashwood Chardonnay 2001 Nice friendly fruity chardonnay that went well with the dried fig and blue cheese on bread that I was nibbling on just before I tried this wine. It is lightly oaked with flavours of stonefruit and melon, a good palate weight and a toasty finish. NZ$16.95. 22Jul2002.

Vidal Estate Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2001 Good fruit weight in the melon / stone fruit spectrum. Hints of pineapple and a nutty richness emerging. Newly bottled. Should evolve nicely. $15. 5Nov2001.

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2001Bright yellow. Lots of creamy citrus and grapefruit peel on the nose. Well-integrated with sweet honeyed oak, custard and fruit salad in the palate. Creamy textured with a ripe fruit profile, lots of smoky mealy richness and a good dollop of savoury spicy oak on the finish. Powerful and flavoursome. Screwcap ensures consistency. ***** 14.5% alc. $34.95. 18Jun2003.

Whitehaven Marlborough Chardonnay 2001 Toasty, caramel and loads of butterscotch mask the fruit at first but then the citrus and tropical flavours come through. Rich, full-bodied creamy wine. 27Sep2002.

Waipara Springs Lightly Oaked Chardonnay 2001 Zesty, peach and citrus flavours with an oily texture and a milky finish. Didn't do much for me today. $18. 24Sep2001.

Waipara Hills Canterbury Nelson Chardonnay 2001 Grapefruit, leesy scents, savoury oak and some toasty tropical fruit. Sealed with a cork this bottle seemed a bit muted but two more bottles were opened and they were both corked! Waipara Hills now seals all their wines in screwcaps. 24Jul2003.

Waipara Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2001 Rich, buttery and honeyed with peachy stonefruits and melon, it creamy caramel textured wine glides smoothly over the palate. There's spicy oak and citrus on the finish that gives a lift and enlivens the mouth. Green melon flavours linger. Drinking very well now, I rate this wine as excellent. $35.95. 170 cases made. 24Jul2003.

Waipara Springs Barrique Chardonnay 2001 Bitter lemon. Oaky spicy, citrus, honey. A simple style. 2.5/5 17Oct2002.

Waipipi Masterton Chardonnay 2001 Nice fruity chardonnay with a creamy texture and peach/melon fruit. 17Nov2001.

West Brook Blue Ridge Chardonnay 2001 - Marlborough. Lovely ripe yummy chardonnay - a lovely combo of stone fruit and citrus. Very balanced, very drinkable and full of finesse. 18Aug2002.
Bright and clear, the colour of a pale citrine gemstone, this is a powerfully scented mealy, rich wine. Lots of very classy French oak flavour fills the mouth to be quickly joined by a juicy medley of tropical fruit, pineapple and pear. There's a terrific creaminess with subtle butterscotch and a hint of caramel too. Though still very tightly wound up in its mealy flavour this is a very classy wine indeed and totally deserving of its gold medal at the 2002 Air NZ Wine Awards. $23.95. 22Jan2003.

Woollaston Estate Nelson Chardonnay 2001 Creamy mellow aroma. Very smooth, buttery, hints of lemon, yeasty lees influence. Smoky and meaty with melon on finish. 3.75/5. 17Oct2002.

[2008/2007] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000] [1999 and older] [index]

Index to Varietal Tastings
Chardonnay Gewurztraminer
Pinot Gris Sauvignon Blanc Other Whites
Bubblies Sweeties Pinks
Cabernet dominant Merlot dominant Pinotage
Pinot Noir Shiraz Other Reds

[Top of Page] [Wine Reviews Index] [Wine of the Week Archives] [Wine of the Week Home]