Mudbrick ‘Francesca’ Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017


Mudbrick Vineyard on Waiheke Island has ‘The Velvet’ as the flagship wine. Originally, its blend was undisclosed, but clearly it was a selection of barrels from the Bordeaux red varieties. The wine was ‘out there’, maybe ‘over the top’ with ripe and bold flavours and oaking to match. Recent vintages have seen a greater elegance in the wine, and this is to its benefit in terms of balance and accessibility, with a greater focus on the fruit quality. And the varietal proportions are disclosed, which from my viewpoint does wonders for transparency. I wonder how much of the change is due to Pat Newton coming on board as winemaker in 2011?

Mudbrick owners Nick and Robyn Jones have wanted a Chardonnay and a Syrah to join the ranks of ‘The Velvet’, and in 2017, considered to be a challenging year, the Chardonnay fruit was so good that the first ‘Francesca’ Chardonnay was made. I’ve already reviewed the 2017 ‘Reserve’ Viognier and Chardonnay from Waiheke Island in this vintage for Mudbrick, and I rated them both 5-stars (click here to see). The ‘Francesca’ is a selection of the best Chardonnay barrels, based on the criteria of richness complexity and length. It is named after the Jones’ daughter who was born the year that Mudbrick was established. Only 85 cases were made. Winemaker Pat Newton tells me there is a flagship Syrah in the works, to be named ‘Oscar’ after Nick and Robyn Jones’ son. I review the 2017 ‘Francesca’ Chardonnay here. www.mudbrick.co.nz


  • Mudbrick ‘Francesca’ Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017

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