Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2015 a winner
19 October 2016
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Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay champion triumphs again!
Clearview Estate on Hawke’s Bay Te Awanga coast is cementing its reputation as one of the country’s leading Chardonnay producers, with yet another strong showing for its Reserve Chardonnay 2015.
Following hot on the heels of winning the Champion Wine of the Show and Champion Chardonnay at the New Zealand International Wine Show at the beginning of the month, the Clearview Reserve Chardonnay 2015 has taken out the Chardonnay Trophy at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Wine Awards announced in Hastings last night.
Clearview Estate co-owners and co-founders Tim Turvey and Helma van den Berg, are both ecstatic.
“Our first release in 1992, of Reserve Chardonnay using fruit from the same vines planted 29 years ago won a Trophy, so it’s gratifying to know we have maintained the quality and consistency of our flagship wine over a quarter of a century.”
Further testament to the strength of Clearview’s chardonnay prowess, its Beachhead 2015 took out best Chardonnay of the Show at the New World Wine Awards also earlier this month, as well as taking a gold at the NZ International Wine Show, ANZ Boutique Wine Awards, and receiving a raft of five star reviews.
“Chardonnay grows so well in Te Awanga,” says Turvey. “The offshore breeze in the morning and the onshore in the afternoon means there’s no humidity, and that means we can hold and hold and hold the fruit until it’s ripe.
“We get grapes with a wonderful acid base and freshness that means we can play with various fermentations to meet varying and changing consumer palates.”
And play with purpose is what Clearview’s winemaking team of Turvey, Matt Kirby and Rob Bregmen does so well. Eight different Chardonnays come out of the Clearview Estate winery located close to Cape Kidnappers.
“Chardonnay is the ultimate plaything as there’s so much you can do with the variety,” says Matt Kirby who, with Bregmen, has just completed his second Clearview vintage and draws on his Australian and French experiences.
“While the bulk of our Chardonnay is the Mendoza clone, which is low yielding and produces high quality grapes, we have old and young vines, different soil types including beautiful river stones deposited in years gone by, and of course the cooling sea breeze,” says Kirby.
The recently introduced Three Rows Chardonnay, sourced from selected bunches over three rows of 29-year-old vines in the main Te Awanga vineyard and the first vintage of a new Clearview style wine, has winemaker Kirby’s influence with less oak and more fruit tensioning with acidity and minerality.
It’s already proving itself in the Clearview Chardonnay stable with outstanding ratings from Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier (94 points) and Bob Campbell, Master of Wine (92 points), plus five stars from Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, and 4.5 stars from Michael Cooper of Winestate magazine, and four from Raymond Chan.
Not to mention the Coastal Chardonnay, Clearview’s sub $25 offering, securing high praise with a silver at Hawke’s Bay A&P Wine Awards and outstanding ratings from New Zealand’s leading wine critics including Cameron Douglas, New Zealand’ first and only Master Sommelier.
Then there was the 2015 special vintage of White Caps Chardonnay, a “buttered caramel”, very oaky, low acid throw-back to the 1980s’ style, which proved so much in demand by retailers that the limited release sold within a month and didn’t even make the winery’s beach side cellar door.
As for Clearview’s Endeavour, New Zealand’s most expensive Chardonnay only made in years of exceptional vintage (the last being 2013), it’s a case of “watch this space for 2015”, according to Kirby.
Although the Clearview team is also quick to point out that it’s not just Chardonnays that are proving excellent, there’s a strong expectation that all its rosé and red wines will be strong award contenders also.