2012 Cypress "Terraces" Chardonnay Hawke's Bay

SKU #1161336

This is an incredible Chardonnay from a new producer that we have just started working with. This is their top bottling from a tiny hillside parcel of vines. The 'Terraces' vineyard sits north facing atop Roy's Hill overlooking Gimblett Gravels. This sun-baked unique site is tempered by the warm winds from the river food plain below, allowing slow maturation of the grapes giving the wines fine aromatic structure. The vineyards are worked naturally, simply looking to expose the characters from the diverse mix of soils. With a gradient of 35 degrees no machine could attempt these slopes and tiny bunches are hand-selected from these struggling vines. Hand-picked grapes were tipped straight to the press. It was fermented in French oak barriques (60% new) and one puncheon. Natural vineyard yeasts were allowed to complete the ferment. Malo-lactic fermentation was also natural and was completed in Spring. The wine spent ten months in barrel on its lees, with once weekly stirring for the first three months. This is a powerful, rich wine with layers of ripe stone fruit, toasted hazelnut, brioche and a bright crunch of acidity on the finish like a fresh picked pear. Lingering lees flavors and lovely oak nuances go on and on. 93 points Wine Orbit: "Refined and elegant, yet rich and flavoursome. The fragrant bouquet shows white peach, grapefruit, toasted almond and subtle vanilla aromas, leading to a succulent palate that's focused and finely textured, backed by bright acidity."

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Price: $29.99
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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.