Neudorf ‘Twenty Five Rows’ Nelson Chardonnay 2013
It can difficult to comprehend how Chablis is one of the most revered wines and wine styles of the world, yet its imitators are among the most derided. For the most part, unoaked Chardonnay is made with the lowest aspirations, from left-over fruit, and to save on costs rather than any other reasons. The fruit employed is certainly far from premium, and the minimalist intervention and inputs more for ease rather than finesse, balance and style. A few producers in New Zealand are attempting the Chablis-inspired style seriously, making wine based on the finest possible fruit available, from fully mature vines, cropped low and properly ripened, and handled with great care and sensitivity in the winery to enable the finest and most precise detail to play its part in something beautifully refined and fascinating, a wine of particular style and transparency to allow its origins to speak.
Those who are dabbling in this style are somewhat reluctant to refer to the name "Chablis”, not wanting to appear to be unoriginal, and possibly for fear of disrespecting a great region and wine in the eyes of the sophisticated and educated. Or they don’t want to be associated with wines that seem too subtle or simply plain for those who don’t yet understand what Chablis is truly about. From the consumers’ and wine lovers’ point of view, it requires putting on a different hat to appreciate the different parameters by which these wines should be approached. Sheer richness, ripeness and overt inputs or complexities are not desirable. Purity, freshness, cut and linearity are more important aspects to consider. Then the most delicate and poised detail to provide interest, and the most subtle, building richness and presence to make an expression of something special and another level of quality.
Neudorf Vineyards has begun its exploration of the Chablis-inspired style, desiring to have "unadorned” Chardonnay express their unique Moutere terroir. Employing low-cropped Mendoza clone fruit from the first 25 rows from the ‘Hill Block’ fermented in tank and aged in neutral oak and undergoing partial MLF, the aim to fine the purest expression of the uniqueness of the site. Here is my review of the wine that is the beginning of this work. www.neudorf.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Neudorf ‘Twenty Five Rows’ Nelson Chardonnay 2013Chardonnay from New Zealand - NelsonReview Date : 12-Aug-2014Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour, very light on rim. The nose is initially tight and restrained, with a positive core of white stonefruits and minerals, with subtle MLF lemon curd nuances, the aromatics building in concentration revealing intricate, mouthwatering wet-stone and nutty detail. The nose is refreshing, with beautiful delicacy and vinosity. Dry and medium-full bodied, the flavours of stonefruits and minerals are entwined with a fine layering of lemon curd MLF and suggestions of nuts. A deep core provides a tight backbone and linearity. The mouthfeel is poised with discreetly building richness, creaminess and depth, and refined, mouthwatering, pin-point acidity. The wine flows along a fine line leading to a soft, lingering finish with minerals and MLF nutty, creamy elements. This is a refined and beautifully poised, refreshing Chardonnay with clarity of white stonefruit and minerally flavours. Match with seafood over the next 4-5 years. Mendoza clone Chardonnay from the Neudorf ‘Hill Block’, Moutere, hand-picked, WBP and indigenous yeast fermented in stainless-steel with high solids to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 7 months in neutral puncheons with minimal batonnage, and 50% MLF. 99 cases made. 18.5/20 Aug 2014 RRP $28.00