Clearview Estate 2017 Te Awanga Chardonnays

14-May-2018

Although Clearview Estate produces a full range of varietal and styled wines, Chardonnay is what it is best known for. Planting their vineyards at Te Awanga in 1986, Tim Turvey and Helma van den Berg quickly became known for their ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay made from Mendoza clone fruit, given the full works with ripe fruit, barrel-fermentation and plenty of toasty oak maturation and MLF. The wines won many awards at shows and magazine tastings, and in the early days, our allocation at Regional Wines & Spirits for the ‘Cuisine’ ‘Top 10’ tastings was only two bottles of tasting stock, which we paid full price for, with nothing to sell. Things eventually eased up, and our allocation for retail sales grew to 6 bottles in addition to the tasting stock!

Today, the Clearview ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay remains one of the country’s most respected, and the wine continues to win gold medals and trophies at wine shows for its rich, fulsome and complex flavours and style. There have been many calls for the Clearview ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay to be made more modern and elegant, and indeed, it shows more finesse and balance than ever. But just as a counterpoint, Tim Turvey introduced the super-premium ‘Endeavour’ Chardonnay which harks back to all the traditional high-quality attributes that made the ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay what it was at the beginning, and in fact, takes it beyond into where Tim then only dreamed he could go. The ‘Endeavour’ Chardonnay is a full-on wine which is truly a statement of place, variety, winemaking and style (click here to see my review of the 2015 ‘Endeavour’ Chardonnay).

Just to prove that it’s not black and white with Chardonnay at Clearview Estate, Tim and Helma’s winemakers Matt Kirby and Rob Bregmen have created a broad range of Chardonnays to show they also have the grey areas covered. Here, I review five 2017 vintage Clearview Chardonnays that range from fruit-focussed, very traditional (old-fashioned), a wine with restrained, but serious inputs, a foray into the complex sulphide reduction, and the modern, rich and complex ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay it is after 30 years of evolution. www.clearviewestate.co.nz


FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • Clearview ‘Coastal’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017
  • Clearview ‘White Caps’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017
  • Clearview ‘Beachhead’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017
  • Clearview ‘Three Rows’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017
  • Clearview ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

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