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Featured Reviews

Neck of the Woods Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

20 December,2018

AJ Johnson has always had a hankering to have his own wine, ever since working at Mouthford in North Canterbury. A successful television industry man for 15 years, he launched his own label ‘Neck of the Woods’ earlier this year with a Gibbston-sourced Central Otago Pinot Noir from the 2016 vintage, made by James McElrea (click here to see my review). AJ has made a number of strong grower contacts not only in Central Otago, but also in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough, and will have wines from these regions coming. Here, I review the new Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017, also made by James McElrea. AJ has engaged the services of Jen Parr for future wines. This is an exciting negociant business to follow.


Neck of the Woods Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, paler edged. The nose is softly concentrated with a rounded core of yellow stonefruits and subtle notes of savoury citrus fruit melded with a little creamy barrel-ferment, and nutty oak, unfolding complexing mealy detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has vibrant and luscious fruit flavours of tropical, citrus and yellow stone fruits, enlivened by bright and refreshing, lacy acidity. The fruit is detailed by spicy, nutty oak with hints of creamy barrel-ferment and buttery MLF. The mouthfeel features a light phenolic line which carries the flavours to a finely concentrated, lingering finish with a little textural grip and spice. This is a vibrant and lively Chardonnay with bright and lush citrus, tropical and stonefruit flavours, subtle barrel elements, and spicy, nutty oak on a fine-textured palate. Serve with grilled and roasted seafood, poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Clone Mendoza, 15 and 95 fruit from Dartmoor, hand-picked, WBP and fully barrel-fermented to 12.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 25% new French oak with full MLF. 1200 bottles made. 18.5/20 Dec 2018 RRP $30.00

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