2012 Te Whare Ra (TWR) Chardonnay Marlborough New Zealand (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1139063

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!

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By: Ryan Woodhouse |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/2/2014  | Send Email
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Great chard from TWR. Lovely balance of richness and restraint. Very exotic aromatics of ripe stone fruits and some floral nuances. The wine was a tiny production in 2012 totaling just 100cs! The flavor concentration from the old Mendoza clone vines really shows and is perfectly framed by the spicy oak and savory lees components. A very complete Chardonnay.

By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 1/29/2014  | Send Email
This Te Whare Ra was one of the stars of our New Zealand tasting. I found this Chardonnay to have a serious Chassagne-like nose and robust richness in the mouth. The wine comes together very nicely on the back with great focus, acidity and tremendous length. I think this would make a great ringer in a $50+ white Burgundy tasting!

 By: Stuart Wilks |  Review Date: 3/24/2014 
I have been drinking the Te Whare Ra (multiple varietals) for several years now since introduced to the producer by Ryan. I loved the 2010 Chardonnay and liked the 2011. This 2012 shares similarities to prior years - crisp and tropical (which I believe is unusual for Chardonnay), and I found the lemon on the palate this vintage a bit different and quite pleasant.

Additional Information:

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14
Organic: