Greywacke Chardonnay (750ml)
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New Zealands Chardonnays are certainly well worth the attention they are receiving. Kevin Judd, long-time head winemaker at Cloudy Bay, creates the wines under this Greywacke label. Greywacke (pronounced “Gray-wacky”) is a type of soil found throughout New Zealand made up of gray sandstone, clay and coarse grained particles providing good drainage. Much of the fruit Judd sources throughout Marlborough grows on such soil.
This clone of Chardonnay is preferred by Judd for the way it ripens and its ability to provide very concentrated Chardonnay. The grapes are harvested by hand at high ripeness levels and whole cluster pressed before the juice is racked into French oak barrels (20% new) and undergoes a natural yeast fermentation.
The nose has pronounced ripe tropical fruit aromas balanced by toasty and yeasty notes. The wine is full and coats the palate, while being rich and complex, balanced by a refreshing vein of acidity and a mineral finish. The obvious toasty character on the nose is less evident on the palate and the fruit flavours are more citrus driven making the wine very fresh and clean.
When we think of Marlborough, New Zealand, we don’t tend to think of Chardonnay. Kevin Judd’s wine is proof that Marlborough’s reputation as a quality wine-producing region does not have to depend on its Sauvignon Blanc. This wine spends 18 months in French oak barriques, undergoing occasional lees stirring and complete malolactic fermentation. A great combination of crisp, bright fruit, toasty brioche and nuttiness, this wine is both interesting and delicious.