2008 Craggy Range "Kidnappers Vineyard" Chardonnay Hawkes Bay New Zealand

SKU #1054402

92 points Wine Spectator: "An elegant style, deftly balanced, with refined pear and lime on a satiny frame. Lingers effortlessly. Drink now through 2014." (02/10) Craggy Range's "Kidnappers Vineyard" Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay clearly demonstrates New Zealand's excellent terroir and that their winemaking has really come into its own. Fermented in a combination of stainless, oak cuves and 10% new French oak puncheons, then aged for four months sur lie. This Chardonnay clearly separates itself from much of the New World pack with its fliny nose buttressed by subtle aromas of almond skin and zippy Meyer lemon peel. Apricot, Asian pear and oyster shell flavors are all framed by balanced acidity and a delicate but persistent texture, finishing with hints of clove. While the wine drinks beautifully alone, this really shines when paired with fresh seafood or grilled veggies. A fantastic price for such complexity.

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Price: $14.99
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Staff Image By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/1/2010 | Send Email
Wow! What a terrificly surprising New Zealand Chardonnay for under $15!!! Lots of minerals and citrus on the palate, full of good weight and texture! It sees only 10% new oak, and it was so clean I was astounded it had any at all. Almost reminds me of a Chablis or Saint Veran type style! Grab a bottle and Enjoy!

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.