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Featured Reviews




Red Barrel Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015 – A Re-Look

26 April,2018

When experienced Hawke’s Bay grapegrowers John and Juliette Lockie purchased the former Zepelin vineyard on Te Mata Road in Havelock North in 2010, the took out the Cabernet Sauvignon plants, replacing them with clones Mendoza, 15 and 95, to complement the Merlot and Syrah. The first crop of Chardonnay was in 2013, and this sold very quickly. The 2014 and 2015 wines have followed quickly, the latter wine the current release. The Lockies and their winemaker agree on the fuller-bodied and complex-flavoured style, in line with their reds. I felt the 2014 was judged extremely well in balance, but found the 2015 quite marked by the complex sulphide reduction, especially when tasting it in its youth over a year ago. I take a re-look at the wine, with the benefit of an extra year’s bottle-age. www.redbarrel.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Red Barrel Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18-/20

Bright, light yellow colour with light green tints. The nose is very tight and firmly bound with a concentrated core of white stonefruits entwined with deep aromas of gunflinty mineral reduction, along with nutty oak and a little smoke. Medium-full bodied, the palate is tightly packed and very well-concentrated with firm and deep flavours of vibrant and succulent white stonefruit flavers layered with an amalgam of nutty oak and gunflint reductive notes. The palate has power, vigour and drive, and the wine carries along a fine-textured line with fresh, underlying acidity adding to the energy. The wine leads to an elegant, sustained finish of stonefruits, nuts and flint. This is a powerful and well-concentrated Chardonnay with intense flavours of stonefruits, nut and gunflint on a vigorous palate. Match with grilled and roasted pork and veal dishes over the next 4-5 years. Clones Mendoza, 15 and 95, hand-picked and WBP, fermented in French barriques and puncheons to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 50% new oak, undergoing batonnage and >70% MLF. 18.0-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $30.00

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, lighter on the edge. This has a full, broad and voluminous nose with a concentrated core of citrus fruits and white stonefruit aromas entwined with creamy, nutty barrel-ferment notes, a thread of youthful reduction and a little toasty oak. Medium-full bodied, the tightly bound and intense flavours of citrus and white stonefruits form a firm and fine core, unveiling creamy and nutty barrel-ferment flavours along with a little minerally reduction and oak toast. The mouthfeel is youthfully firm and fine-textured, and is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. As the wine flows, the minerally reduction emerges and carries to a long and sustained, fine-textured finish. This is a firm and finely concentrated Chardonnay with citrus and stonefruit flavours entwined with creamy barrel-ferment, lemon curd MLF, and reductive and toasty oak notes. Serve with barbecued, grilled and roasted pork dishes over the next 4-5 years. Clones Mendoza, 15 and 95, hand-picked and WBP, fermented in French barriques and puncheons to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 50% new oak, undergoing batonnage and >70% MLF. 17.5/20 Feb 2017 RRP $30.00

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

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