Dog Point – Tasting at Dog Point

2009 Dog Point Chardonnay

This shows a bit of a honeyed character on the nose with floral accents and hints of clean lees over sweet cut lemon aromas. Lovey ripeness and weight on the palate, this manages to seem sweet without any sign of density. Beautifully balanced with fruit that remains transparent yet delivers great intensity of flavor of both orchard and citrus fruits, which echoe gently on the finish. This shows some nice minerality offering mouth grab, along with a fine acid wash on the finish adding to the citrussy quality. Very fresh. 90pts

2010 Dog Point Chardonnay

This smells of barrel ferment, It is tight and rich with butter and toasty notes and a bit of almond, all over rather fresh fruit. Very clear, tense even, with a lovely gentle, layered character. This is super vibrant and clear, with a touch of a honeyed quality and floral notes over ripe citron/citrus fruits. There’s a smoky overlay on the finish, which shows pretty purity of citrus with some pear accent notes, all in a detailed, vibrant and finely balanced package. 91pts

Highfield – Tasting at Highfield

2010 Highfield Chardonnay

Toasty nutty oak greets the nose along with a bit of bacon, dried lime and lemon peel, all over heirloom apple with a hint of apricot. Medium-scaled on the palate if in a pretty rich style, this shows a lot of leesy creaminess yet maintains some fine tension in the mouth. There is fine intensity on the back end and super well-integrated acids on the finish, with a nice hint of tannin that gives this some texture. The oak also emerges on the finale with a distinct wood spice note. 89pts

St. Clair – Tasting at St. Clair

2010 Saint Clair Pioneer Block 10 Twin Hills Chardonnay

This is quite expressive on the nose with plenty of lemon oil, butcher’s wax, toasted almond and smoke all accenting the core of crisp, green fruit. Round and opulent on the palate, there are fine notes of pastry, bread crust and wood spice all framing the fine orchard fruit, along with a nice edge of creamy vanillin. The finish shows a more aggressive wood profile, with toasty nut notes and a base of marzipan emerging from the orchard fruits. 88pts

2010 Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Chardonnay

This is very oak-driven on the nose with rich crème brûlée, wood spice and smoke notes topping the base of ripe fruit. On the palate there is much of the same, with a creamy, round and opulent mouth feel delivering spicy, toffee-framed apricot fruit. Reverts to more wood spice and cream on the moderately long finish. You gotta love oak to love this wine. 85pts

Brancott – Tasting at Brancott

2009 Brancott Living Land Chardonnay

This is gently fruity on the nose with soft apple and pineapple aromas. In the mouth, this offers a very easygoing nature that exhibits fine balance and nice tension. The fruit remains in the apple/pineapple range and while this is bright and fresh, there is a gentle creaminess rounding out the mouth feel and leading to an apple/cream note on the soft finish. 85pts

2010 Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Chardonnay

This is softly stony on the nose with a gentle oak sweetness adding richness to the core of peachy fruit. There’s some wood spice here as well and a touch of vanilla cream. On the palate, the oak spice pops early on, adding a bit of early sweetness that fades on the mid-palate as the acids kick in. The finish shows decent length and a nice balance between wood spice and apple fruit. 88pts