2012 Te Whare Ra (TWR) Chardonnay Marlborough New Zealand (Elsewhere $40)
Fragrant lime blossom and citrus fruit with striking purity; subtle spice, light nougat notes, crème fraîche, preserved lemon and gentle French oak. Racy, svelte palate with surging citrus drive: grapefruit, lime and grilled lemon. A alluring sea-salt savoriness on the finish along with exhilerating acidity. Drink in 2014.
91 points Sam Kim Wine Orbit: "This is complex and generously flavoured while remaining elegant and stylish. Barrel fermented (in 600-litre barrels rather than the usual 225-litre barriques) characters of roasted nut and oatmeal are subtle and beautifully infused with ripe peach and citrus notes, backed by silky texture and fine acidity. A lovely elegant rendition." Te Whare Ra is a small, organic, family-run winery in Marlborough's Wairau Valley. TWR is available in the USA only at K&L Wine Merchants. Jason and Anna Flowerday are the husband and wife winemaking team behind TWR. All of their wines are hand-crafted with love and attention. This 2012 Chardonnay is selected from just a few rows of 32 year old vines at their home block in Renwick. The vines are Mendoza clone famous for its small berries and intense flavor concentration. The fruit it all handpicked and fermented in French oak Puncheon barrels. The Chardonnay then spends 11 months on its full lees adding layers of complexity and enhancing textural components. The total production of this wine was 100 cases!