Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Chardonnay is back in fashion

Chardonnay is back in fashion

Michael Cooper’s Best White Wine Buy of the Year - Spy Valley 2011 Chardonnay

‘Chardonnay is back in fashion,’ says Blair Gibbs, general manager of one of Marlborough’s most successful family-owned wineries. Given the top quality and stunning value of Spy Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2011, it certainly deserves to be.

In Michael Cooper’s 21st annual Buyer’s Guide to New Zealand Wines it states that for its modest price, this is an unexpectedly refined and elegant wine. The bouquet is highly fragrant; the palate is fresh and finely poised, with strong, ripe citrus-fruit and peach flavours, hints of nuts and butterscotch adding complexity, good acidity and a long, harmonious finish. At $22.95, it’s a steal – and if you visit the winery cellar door, you can snap it up for $19.95.

A gold medal winner at the Spiegelau International Wine Competition 2012, judged in Blenheim, Spy Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2011 is enjoyable now, but also a definite candidate for the cellar. Gibbs describes it as ‘a very fresh and vibrant, tightly structured wine with lovely acidity. The vintages back to 2001 and 2002 are still looking good.’

Spy Valley’s top Chardonnay, labelled ‘Envoy’ ($40), is a Burgundian style, very elegant and minerally, with impressive structure and intensity. ‘The grapes for both wines are grown to the same standard,’ says Gibbs. In the 2011 vintage, some of the barrels earmarked originally for the Envoy label have been blended into the mainstream Spy Valley bottling, elevating its complexity and richness.

The grapes were estate-grown at two sites – the sweeping Johnson Estate Vineyard in the lower Waihopai Valley, and the densely planted Outpost Vineyard, on a steep, west-facing hill slope in the Omaka Valley. Under the guidance of viticulturist Adam McCone, the fruit was all hand-harvested in ripe condition with high natural sugar levels in the berries (23 to 24.5 brix).

At the winery, Paul Bourgeois – Spy Valley’s chief winemaker since 2007 – and Kathy-Lee Sowman fermented and matured the Chardonnay for a year in French oak casks, with some use of indigenous (native) yeasts. They describe the bouquet as possessing ‘a sweet mix of ripe citrus and blossom notes, oatmeal and oak spice’. On the palate, ‘the texture shows off the fine acidity and ripe citrus-fruit flavours from vintage 2011. Barrel influences impart a creamy texture.’

Spy Valley Wine suggests drinking this very classy, bargain-priced Chardonnay now, or cellaring it for up to five years. Gibbs enjoys it by itself (‘it’s pretty tasty’), or with chicken and fish dishes with rich sauces.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Land & Water Forum: Fourth Report On Water Management

The Land and Water Forum (LWF) today published its fourth report, outlining 60 new consensus recommendations for how New Zealand should improve its management of fresh water and calling on the Government to urgently adopt all of its recommendations from earlier reports. More>>



Welcome Home: Record High Migration Stokes 41-Year High Population Growth

New Zealand annual net migration hit a new high in October as more people arrived from than departed for Australia for the first time in more than 20 years. More>>


Citizens' Advice Bureau: Report Shows Desperate Housing Situation Throughout NZ

CAB's in-depth analysis of over 2000 client enquiries about emergency accommodation shows vulnerable families, pregnant women and children living in cars and garages, even after seeking assistance from the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand. More>>


Speaking For The Bees: Greens Call For Neonicotinoid Pesticide Ban

The National Government should ban the use of controversial pesticides called neonicotinoids after evidence has revealed that even at low doses they cause harm to bee populations, the Green Party said today. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news