2015 Elephant Hill Chardonnay Hawke's Bay (Previously $20)

SKU #1297211 95 points Decanter

 Charming fragrance of orange blossom, cashew and spiced oak. On the palate mandarin and lemon rind with a hint of nutty oak. Ticks many boxes of enjoyment with texture and length a highlight. Balanced and very well made.

93 points Sam Kim

 This is elegant and beautifully styled, displaying white nectarine, rockmelon and lemon peel characters with hints of vanilla and hazelnuts on the nose. The palate is focused and finely textured, and delivers excellent fruit purity and rounded mouthfeel, wonderfully framed by well-integrated acidity. Beautifully poised and balanced, and very attractive. At its best: now to 2019.

90 points Bob Campbell

 From a cool coastal Te Awanga vineyard and fermentation using indigenous yeasts. Tangy, refreshing chardonnay with grapefruit, citrus, toast, and subtle brioche flavours. A smooth-textured wine with energy.

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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/18/2017 | Send Email
It's not often that we find cross over wines in New Zealand for California Chard drinkers. That said this is not Rombauer of the Southern Hemisphere, but it is very much in an internationally appealing style. Deep notes of creamy butter, subtle nuttiness, stone fruit and baked Golden Delicious. The nose is so heady and rich that you expect to be inundated with ripeness and oak on the palate, but instead you get a wonderful zesty lemon paired with a great texture and some tropical fruit notes. Wonderful balance, for this textured expressive style.

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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.