2008 Mt. Difficulty Chardonnay Central Otago New Zealand (Elsewhere $19.99)

SKU #1094959 89 points Wine Spectator

 This shows terrific purity to the lemon, tangerine and lime peel flavors, which are bright and vibrant, very refreshing, reverberating on the long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2015. 200 cases imported. (Web-2011)

K&L Notes

The 2008 vintage in Central Otago was a nearly ideal growing season, with a warm spring and less wind than usual that allowed excellent flowering conditions. The rest of the season created wines of good concenttation, varietal character and fine acidity. The bouquet offers tropical notes, along with a nutty character, spiced apple, pear and lemon citrus highlights.These all come together on the palate with lively acidity and mineral accents. This really fine Chardonnay is a steal for just $10 bottle. Just 30 cases available. (Jim Chanteloup K&L New Zealand Wine Buyer)

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Price: $9.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- 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.
Country:

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.