2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Chardonnay Marlborough (Elsewhere $40+)

SKU #1160915 94-95 points Raymond Chan

 Mendoza clone Chardonnay from the ‘TWR Home Block’ from 32+ y.o. vines, fermented with a small portion by indigenous yeasts in large French oak demi-muids, 50% new, to 13.8% alc., the wine aged 11 months on lees with 100% MLF. Full, even, light straw-yellow colour. The bouquet is full and complete, but elegant in proportion with concentrated and integrated aromas of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with subtle layers of mealy, nutty oak elements and flinty detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate is refined and tightly concentrated with flavours of stonefruits, nutty oak, and mealy, flinty notes. The mouthfeel is dry and very harmonious with subtle oaking, and builds in depth, power and drive, with suggestions of creaminess. Discreet acidity provides lift and excellent tension, carrying the palate to a very long, lingering and intensely packed finish featuring citrus, toast and nutty nuances. This is a very finely layered and detailed, complex Chardonnay with intense stonefruit and nutty flavours and great length. Serve with poultry, pork and veal over the next 5+ years. Certified BioGro organic. 250 cases made.  (6/2014)

K&L Notes

"Winery of the Year 2014" Raymond Chan. Phenomenal Chardonnay! TWR is a small, certified organic, estate in Marlborough's Wairau Valley. Jason and Anna Flowerday, the husband and wife winemaking team craft all of their wines with love and attention. 2013 has been deemed by many as a vintage of a lifetime in New Zealand. Perfect weather conditions led to pristine fruit and fantastic concentration of flavor. This Chardonnay is hand-selected from just a few rows of 32+ year old vines at TWR's "Home Block". The vines are Mendoza clone Chardonnay famous for its intensity. The fruit is handpicked, hand-sorted, whole cluster pressed and fermented in French oak Puncheon barrels. The Chardonnay spends 11 months on its lees with weekly batonage adding layers of complexity and enhancing textural components. The wine shows rich, ripe orchard fruit, some fleshy yellow stone fruits nicley complemented by fresh mineral tones and a touch of stoney, flinty complexity. Only 250 cases made! A very limited number of bottles available. (Ryan Woodhouse K&L Wine Buyer)

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Price: $24.99
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Staff Image By: Krista Johnson | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/18/2014 | Send Email
It takes a lot for a Chardonnay to make my toes curl, and this one does! This New Zealander begins with buttery musk, dried stone fruit, and has a creamy smooth mid-palate. It's followed by a mineral driven chalky finish...what's not to adore?

Staff Image By: Mike Barber | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2014 | Send Email
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Unmistakably Chardonnay, the wine has aromas of almond and wet gravel and a slight straw color. But Te Whare Ra's Chardonnay is more elegant than the nose would have you believe--a racy and bright wine filled with lemon flavors and a slight hint of oak that is sure to satisfy any fan of cool weather whites.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2017

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2014 | Send Email
The TWR Chardonnay is basically white Burgundy for a fair price. Rather than overpay for Meursault or Chassagne that won't drink well for another decade, why not indulge yourself now with the Te Whare Ra? The richness from oak aging is apparent, but it's not the focus of the palate. The piercing mineral notes are at the forefront and the fruit offers a counterbalance to the refreshing acidity. Great stuff.

Additional Information:



- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8