Hawkes Bay

Hawkes Bay Regional Tasting

2010 Selaks Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay Hawkes Bay

Fresh and clean on the nose with apple, accented by hints of yeast dough, a touch of butter and green apple peels. This is really dry and austere on entry with well-integrated acid. Though made in a very firm style, the light flavors offer good orchard fruit purity. The finish is short, chalky and dry. A stern wine which would benefit from the right food. 86pts

2009 Mission Estate Reserve Chardonnay Hawkes Bay

Open on the nose with earthy, lightly foresty aromas under a hard mineral/steel note, accented apple fruit and topped with light smoke nuances. This is somehow intense but with a sence of delicacy. On the palate, there is lovely purity and cut. This offers up lightly earthy apple peel notes, firm citron pith and a touch of quince in a silky and refined package. Finishes with lovely spice notes to the fruit and elegant balance. There’s a deft touch at work here. 91pts

2009 Vidal Reserve Chardonnay Hawkes Bay

Light and fresh on the nose with notes of mineral water, cactus leaf, spicy toasted oak and a hint of vanilla cream. This is nicely focused in the mouth, lean and fresh in a very drinkable style. The palate shows a nicely measured vanilla top note over fresh apple fruit, with a lithe texture. Elegant and fairly easy right through the finish, which is a touch drying and firm. 88pts

2009 Esk Valley Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay Hawkes Bay

Cool and crisp on the nose with a touch of fresh grass over smoked almond base notes and sour lime fruit. This appears to be very restrained on the nose yet aromatic at the same time. On entry this is cool, low in the mouth and a bit soft. The wine shows rounded edges and a simple expression of fruit, with nice interplay of restrained wood treatment and gentle apple and lime flavors. The finish is moderately long with a little minerality on the finale. 87pts

2007 Matariki Chardonnay Hawkes Bay

Some fairly pronounced wood on the nose with sandy soil tones, dried fruit and a little waxy note. This is nicely rich on entry but lacks a bit of mid-palate depth. There are plenty of toasty wood notes here along with rich, slightly dried apple fruit and almond on the back end. This develops nice complexity and with good power through the finish, marked by a bit of sweet spicy nutmeg. 88pts

2007 Villa Maria Keltern Chardonnay Hawkes Bay

Vanilla, pineapple, grass and buttered toast greet the nose with good intensity and freshness. This is nicely firm in the mouth, very well balanced with a brightness and roundness that is immediately appealing. This has excellent balance. The fruit is beautifully expressed, offering shades of ripe citrus, creamy pineapple and a touch of exotic kiwi flavor. Finishing with good drive and freshness in a more peach-driven vein of fruit that covers the present base of wood spice well. At peak and well rounded for drinking today. 92pts

Trinity Hill - Tasting at Trinity Hill

2010 Trinity Hill Chardonnay Hawkes Bay

This opens with a big creme brulée nose that is noticeably oaky, with notes of vanillin, wood spice, dried ginger and creamy pineapple. On entry this is rather refined and elegant with a sense of delicacy. Though young, this offers good clarity of flavor with wood spice, barely ripe pineapple, apple and a touch of nectarine fruit. The oak is fairly well integrated and fades nicely on the finish, which shows a touch of fig with a hint of stony minerality. 88pts

Craggy Range – Tasting at Craggy Range

2010 Craggy Range Kidnappers Chardonnay

This seems almost a touch malty on the nose with clean, leesy notes accenting pear and lemon oil fruit. On the palate this is light, fresh and juicy. Dances across the tongue with succulent acids lending a clean, snappy feel to the green apple and lime fruit. A bit of stony minerality lurk under under-ripe apricot fruit and lime zest flavors on the long finish. Snappy and stuffy. 88pts