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2019 Matt Connell "Lowburn" Chardonnay Central Otago (Previously $30)

SKU #1498483 95 points Sam Kim

Outer quote mark It's gorgeously styled and elegantly expressed on the nose showing nectarine, fig, nougat, roasted hazelnut and vanilla characters with a hint of flinty overtone. The palate displays excellent weight and focus together with creamy texture and refined mouthfeel, brilliantly structured by bright acidity, finishing impressively long and expansive. At its best: now to 2026. Inner quote mark (8/2020)

92 points Bob Campbell

Outer quote mark Silken-textured chardonnay with citrus, grapefruit, green apple, lime and subtle spicy oak, hazelnut and struck-flint flavours. A high-energy wine thanks to a thread of vibrant and slightly green acidity. Inner quote mark (8/2020)

K&L Notes

At K&L we are always working tirelessly to direct-import the best of what New Zealand has to offer. We keep our ears to the ground looking for up-and-coming producers that are creating exciting wines that demonstrate a sense of place, quality and value. Matt Connell is an incredibly talented winemaker who has dedicated his career to crafting transcendent Pinot Noir. Having honed his skills winemaking at Elk Cove in Oregon and Akarua in New Zealand, Matt struck out on his own under his eponymous label, which has been seeing big scores and is quickly gaining recognition as the next big thing in New Zealand Pinot. Matt has always been dedicated to producing the most uncompromising, highest-quality wines as possible. I have no doubt that in a few years time his wines will be uttered in the same breath as other Central Otago top producers like Felton Road, Rippon or Mt. Difficulty. His Chardonnay is hand harvested and whole bunch pressed Chardonnay grapes were fermented in French oak (10% new) utilizing native and selected yeasts. Complete malolactic fermentation. Aged on the lees. (Thomas Smith, K&L New Zealand wine buyer) 13.5 Abv

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Product Reviews:

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/1/2020 | Send Email
Elegant, focused, but friendly. Green apple and faint sweet dough over the classic mineral chardonnay backbone. Built very solidly with a bigger medium body, but a fine acidity balances that out. This is awesome wine for the price, in a style that is universally enjoyable, finding a balance between the crisper white burgundies and the richer Cali fare.

By: Andrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/1/2020 | Send Email
We've always ben told that struggle builds character, and in nothing is that more tangible than in wine. Coming from one of the more tumultuous regions in the wine growing world this Otago Chardonnay pays dividends to that theory. The nose is delicate but forward bursting with notes of green apple, jasmine, toast, and honey. The palate is complex but not overly rich. There is a balance of bright fruit, cutting minerality, toasted oak, apple peel, and a floral finish that reminds me of jasmine tea. Once again our DI's stand and deliver at prices that are unmatched for the quality!

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/1/2020 | Send Email
Matt Connell is making some of the best wines to date in Central Otago. Sourced entirely from the Lowburn subregion in Central Otago, where despite being known for New Zealand’s best Pinot Noir, is also the home to exceptional Chardonnay. On the nose there are traces of lime zest and pineapple and brioche, while the palate is where all the fireworks happen. Richly decadent with butter, stone fruit and brioche, this is a master class in exquisitely crafted, robust Chardonnay. Yet for all of it’s layers of flavor, it never seems weighed down, light on its feet with crackling acidity, this is an exceptional, mouth coating Chardonnay the proves the point that Central Otago’s Chardonnay can perform on right on par with it’s Pinot Noir.

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