2013 Sato Chardonnay Central Otago

SKU #1198286

If there was a boutique producer in New Zealand that resonated with the micro-production, experimental, semi-hipster, natural, "culty" wines that have taken California by storm in the last few year, Sato would be it. Yoshiaki Sato and his wife Kyoko have quickly made a name for themselves producing some of the most highly talked about and sought after wines in NZ. While travelling in NZ last year many other winemakers I met were really quite jealous that I had managed to pry a few cases of each wine away from Yoshi (who's wines have very quickly become highly allocted and available only to mailing list customers). The wines are essentially "natural wines". Yoshi sources only from organically farmed sources, he refuses outright to use any added yeast, enzymes etc etc. None of the wines are subjected to fining or filtration. The only thing these wines see is a tiny addition of minimal Sulphur pre-bottling. They are pure expressions of place and season. They are made in miniscule quantities (often just a couple barrels - 100 +/- cases).

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Price: $21.99
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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2015 | Send Email
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Complex, distinctive Chardonnay. This is another tiny production from Sato, I believe 5 barrels (125 Cases)were made. Fruit is from one of Carrick's Organically farmed vineyards in Bannockburn. The wine shows lovely savory, toasty, baked bread on the nose, lots of yeast/lees nuances, almost Champagne like in character aromatically. The palate is filled with a combination of dried Apricot and baked orchard fruit with some more of those pie crust or warm bread tones. The texture is so pure and supple, fantastic mouth-feel and length on the palate from all that time on the lees. This is top notch Chard. If you're into white Burgundy, you have to try this. Only 5 cases imported.

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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.