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Featured Reviews

Vidal ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

26 April,2017
The ‘Reserve’ wines of Vidal Estate come from the best available vineyards that winemaker Hugh Crichton can utilise, thus making these bottlings the premium tier for the brand. The rarer ‘Legacy’ wines are exceptional expressions made only in the best years. Hugh has been one of the strongest proponents of the contemporary flinty reductive style of Chardonnay, and his ‘Legacy’ Chardonnay wines are regular gold medal and trophy winners at wine judging competitions. Many producers who make such wines describe them as being very ‘burgundian’ in style. However, I believe this style has yet to be fully appreciated by the general consumer, something not lost on Hugh. His ‘Reserve’ Chardonnays express the reductive characters with more moderation, providing the wines with broader appeal. Discussions with various winemakers have led me to understand that while these ‘gunflint’ and ‘matchstick’ characters can be enhanced by the winemaker, their expression is also a factor of vintage and vineyard site. Hugh Crichton and the Villa Maria Estate team have a good degree of experience in managing these flavours through their work and blending. I recently reviewed the 2015 Vidal ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay which appears to have the correct balance (click here to see my review). I now review the new release 2016 vintage of the Vidal ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay. The wine also achieves a fine balance and appears to have greater fruit and flavour intensity to me.


Vidal ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Brilliant straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, a little lighter on the rim. This has an elegantly concentrated nose with very good intensity of fresh white peaches and stonefruits entwined with gentle aromas of flinty and nutty detail and nuances of minerals. Medium-bodied, the palate possesses fresh, vibrant and finely concentrated flavours of white stonefruits along with a subtle layering of flint and nuts, and hints of minerals. The mouthfeel is fresh and lively, with crisp, racy acidity enhancing the fruit sweetness, and the wine flows along a fine, textural line with good vigour and tension, leading to a taut, long-lingering finish of stonefruits and minerals. This is a very fresh and lively Chardonnay with deep white stonefruit, flinty, nutty and mineral flavours on a taut, lingering palate. Match with seafood and creamy sauced white meat dishes over the next 4 years. Fruit from the ‘Keltern’ ‘Kokako’ and ‘Lyons’ vineyards fully barrel-fermented, partially by indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on lees in 19% new French oak, with partial MLF conversion. 18.0/20 Apr 2017 RRP $19.99
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