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Featured Reviews

Quarter Acre Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

19 April,2018

The ‘Quarter Acre’ label of Rod McDonald is his premium expression of Hawke’s Bay varieties and regionality. Invariably they are sophisticated with richness, textures and complexities that see them awarded well in shows an tastings. I’m impressed by the wines. Rod has undergone a subtle changing of the name of his winegrowing business of late, changing from ‘Rod McDonald Wines’ to ‘Te Awanga Estate’. This reflects the 17 ha home vineyard in the coastal district of Te Awanga which provides some of his best fruit. It is also where the cellar door is sited. Rod still operates the Hawke’s Bay Wine Company in the Pandora district of Napier, and this is where most of his winemaking activity occurs. But the Te Awanga Estate will grow in importance in that respect in the future. Already much of the administrative operations are now handled from Te Awanga. Here, I review the new release 2017 Quarter Acre Chardonnay. It has a high quality feel about it, but I believe some bottle-age will be very beneficial for it.


Quarter Acre Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, light straw colour with slight green hues. The nose is very elegant and slender in presentation with a fine and tightly packed core of white stonefruits along with nuances of citrus fruit and white floral suggestions, unfolding minerally lees and nutty oak detail. This combines intensity with finesse. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with taut, but intense and penetrating flavours of white stonefruits with hints of citrus fruit and white floral elements. The fruit is detailed by subtle notes of minerally lees and nutty oak. The flavours possess a subtle richness which is balanced by crisp, lacy acidity, and the wine flows smoothly along a very fine line with good energy and tension, leading to a slim, but sustained finish. This is a taut but intense Chardonnay with white stonefruit, floral and nutty flavours and subtle complexing detail on a refreshing palate with good tension. It will develop more richness over the next+ years, Serve with seafood and poultry. Fruit predominantly from ‘Doc’s Block’, Haumoana, vines approx. 20 y.o. along with fruit from Ngaruroro river terrace site, vines 12 y.o., hand-picked, WBP and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented with high solids to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 50% new oak with 40% MLF. 18.0+/20 Apr 2018 RRP $35.00

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