Fruit from the Wrekin vineyard has been an important component of my Marlborough Chardonnay for over a decade. This site is situated within a larger area known as the Southern Valleys, in the clay southern hills of the Wairau Valley. The clay soils are good for water-retention and contribute to the textural mouthfeel.
The chardonnay at the Wrekin vineyard is on a very sunny, northern-facing slope, where the Wrekin valley meets the Fairhall valley. This block was established under organic principles.
The fruit was hand-picked, whole cluster pressed, and fermented in barrel with high solids. The wine underwent natural malolactic fermentation as it aged in French oak puncheons. This wine has considerable influence from aging on lees with frequent bâtonnage. Maturation in larger format puncheons slows down the maturation, allowing for a tighter wine with greater potential for aging. I have also found the deeper sediment of lees in the puncheon to produce a greater autolytic influence.
Simon Waghorn — Winemaker
Mid straw gold.
Apricot, honeysuckle and hazelnut meal with a pronounced autolytic character and some vanilla from the oak.
Bright lemon juice, yellow-fleshed nectarine and beurre bosc pear, with fresh butter flavours and an oily finish.
This wine will continue to develop rewarding flavour and bottle complexity with aging.
Serve with elote, cauliflower cheese, pan-fried scallops or flaky white fish such as sea bass.
CHARDONNAY SERVING TEMPERATURE
Cool room temperature.
“The very harmonious, youthful 2019 vintage was grown in the Wrekin Vineyard, in the Southern Valleys. Hand-harvested and fermented and matured for 10 months in French oak puncheons, it is bright, light lemon/green, with fresh, generous, citrusy, peachy flavours, biscuity notes adding complexity, and a creamy-textured, long finish. Showing obvious potential, it should be at its best 2022+.”
New Zealand Wines: Michael Coopers Buyer’s Guide 2021
“This single-vineyard Chardonnay is rather reserved on the nose, but the palate is much more come-hither: savory and silken, it has good fruit weight and fills the mouth with nectarine, oatmeal and almond-like characters. The acidity is rather gentle on the medium-length finish, but there's a sense of ease throughout. Attractive now and for the medium term.” NOV 20
Rebecca Gibb, Master of Wine
“Complex and alluring aromas of fruit, minerals and toasty barrel spices, a layer of flinty white smoke adds depth while a mix of pure lemon and grapefruit, white peach and flowers add charm and poise. Youthful, tense, fruity and dry on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose, fine wood tannins and medium+ acidity secure the foundation structure as well as adding length. Well made and ready to enjoy from mid to late 2021 through 2026+.” FEB 21
Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier
Sustainably certified SWNZ