Vidal 2017 ‘Soler’ Chardonnay and 2016 ‘Legacy’ Syrah and Cabernet Merlot
I chose Vidal Estate as my ‘Winery of the Year’ in 2017 primarily because of the leadership the company was showing in the crafting of contemporary Chardonnay and outstanding Syrah wines and those made from the Bordeaux varieties. The wines that stood out were the flagship ‘Legacy’ range, but these were supported by wonderful bottlings in the ‘Reserve’ tier (click here to see my article). The man guiding the direction of the style of the Vidal Estate wines is Hugh Crichton, with the company since 2004, but he would be the first to give credit to the experience and advice of the combined team of viticulturists and winemakers who work together under the Villa Maria umbrella.
I went to visit Hugh Crichton at the new ‘super Villa Maria’ winery being built on the Te Awa site in the Gimblett Gravels at the end of April (click here to see my report), and he was at pains to point out that the fruit sources ear-marked for each label, from super-premium right down to the everyday wines was kept separate, as they had been before the winery was built. So much reflects the fruit origins of the wines, and these are special vineyards, mainly, but not necessarily situated in the Gimblett Gravels. Here, I review three new Vidal Estate wines, a 2017 ‘Soler’ Chardonnay, this being a new tier sited between the ‘Legacy’ and ‘Reserve’ ranges, plus the 2016 ‘Legacy’ Gimblett Gravels Syrah and Cabernet/Merlot. These are due for release in August. www.vidal.co.nz