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Featured Reviews

Squawking Magpie ‘The Gravels’ Chardonnay 2016

28 August,2017
Gavin Yortt’s ‘Squawking Magpie’ brand is best known for his high quality Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay wines, especially the Bordeaux-variety blends and the Syrahs. These top expressions come from his 20 ha of vineyard in the district which he has tended for over a decade. Last year, Gavin introduced ‘The Gravels’ tier of Squawking Magpie wines, which acknowledges the Gimblett Gravels site, with a Syrah and Chardonnay release, to be followed by a Bordeaux-variety blended wine. A little confusingly, the Chardonnay comes not from the Gimblett Gravels, but from the alluviale soils west of Hastings. which many deem to be better suited to the variety. Here I review the second release of the Chardonnay, from the 2016 vintage.


Squawking Magpie ‘The Gravels’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, even straw-yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and tightly bound, with elegantly concentrated, bright citrus fruit and stonefruit aromas. The fruit is fresh and youthful, with fine, firm nutty oak notes and a little creaminess of barrel ferment emerging in the glass. Medium-bodied, the palate is youthful and taut with a finely concentrated core of fresh citrus fruit and white and yellow stonefruits. Flavours of spicy, nutty oak emerge along with subtle creamy barrel-ferment elements. The mouthfeel is crisp and tight with brisk acidity and light phenolic textures providing grip and linearity. The wine carries the concentrated core to a firm, lingering, citrussy finish with some grip. This is a youthfully taut and finely concentrated Chardonnay with vibrant citrussy fruit, zesty acidity on a fine-textured palate. Give this 6-12 months bottle age to show more richness. Serve with grilled and roasted seafood dishes over the next 4-5 years. Fruit from the alluviale soils west of Hastings, fully barrel-fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 10% new French oak, undergoing batonnage and 30% MLF. 17.5/20 Aug 2017 RRP $33.95
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