2010 Sacred Hill "Riflemans" Chardonnay Hawkes Bay

SKU #1110119 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Wow – the 2010 Riflemans Chardonnay has a profoundly scented, tropical nose of guava and mango over suggestions of butterscotch, cashews, meal and ginger. Richly fruited and satiny textured with tons of fruit packed into an elegant medium body, it has a long and layered finish. The oak is still a little prominent and it should drink best 2013 to 2017+.  (10/2012)

89 points Wine & Spirits

 Floral butter and clover honey scents mesh with this wine's oak influence, combining in a satin texture with a little wood tannin. There's enough freshness to keep up with the oak and sustain the wine as it develops over the next year.  (2/2013)

Wine Spectator

 Creamy and rich, with sweet cream and butter notes announcing the pear, citrus and peach flavors. The ample acidity helps keep the flavors fresh and light-footed. Drink now. 100 cases made. (Web-2013)

K&L Notes

Hand-picked New Zealand Chardonnay, whole cluster pressed and 12-month aging in oak.

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Price: $39.99
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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/26/2012 | Send Email
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From the Rifleman’s Vineyard on the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay. Fermented in French oak barrels with all wild yeast. This is a powerful Chardonnay. Concentrated peach and tropical fruits, toasty oak and spice. A big rich wine with a firm backbone of great acidity tying it all together. World class Chardonnay.
Drink from 2012 to 2018

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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.