The first vintage of this new wine, representing ‘the pinnacle of this variety from Askerne’. Having enjoyed their Reserve Chardonnay over the years, I was keen to try this.
A light golden to lime colour in the glass, with an immediate, upfront nose of toasted almonds, lemon curd, cream soda, nectarine and wisps of smoky gunflint. Full, concentrated, and vibrant on the palate, with ripe peach, grapefruit and sliced pear. Taut and complex – the vanilla oak (45% new barrels) flavours are accented with a counterpoint of blooming acidity that gives great drive through the palate. A well-weighted, creamy texture with notes of brioche and apple strudel towards the back hints at extended lees influence. Some pithy, drying elements – green tea and lemon rind – merge into a lengthy and harmonious finish. 95pts. Excellent, a wonderful addition to the top tier of Hawke’s Bay chardonnays.