Great with seafood and white meats, or for that special occasion.
Tasting notes by Paul Tudor.
Babich Irongate Chardonnay 2013, Hawke’s Bay ($36.95)
A very delicate bouquet with flowery, mineral touches and some oak undertones. This is very structured, full and ripe in the mouth, yet with a firm acid backbone. Great for cellaring, but will also sit well at the dinner table now.
Bogle Vineyards Chardonnay 2013, California, USA ($25.95)
A big buttery chardonnay with bags of apricot and peach characters. A rich, creamy palate with rounded acidity, a little sappy oak and alcohol to counter that softness. This is warm, cuddly wine for the traditional chardonnay fan.
Coopers Creek Swamp Reserve Chardonnay 2013, Hawkes Bay ($38)
Very restrained fruit aromas, hints of citrus, pineapple, undefined tropical fruit, with undertones of vanillin oak. The palate is structured and firm, a little oak spice showing, but otherwise this is a tight-knit, fuller style that could age nicely or be enjoyed now with roast chicken.
Kairos Wild Barrique Ferment Pinot Gris 2012, Marlborough ($24.95)
A slightly contentious wine, here pinot gris’ classic candy apple and honeysuckle fruit is complemented with fermentation in older oak, resulting in a malty, warm palate impression. However there is also freshness and a hint of bitterness to balance this richness — a complex mouth-filling wine with great character and persistence. TOP 10
Tohu Mugwi Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marlborough ($27.95)
We tasted a number of very fine oak-aged, or oak-fermented sauvignons this year, and this was the pick. Vanillin overtones, and smoky, toasty characters, but also a suggestion of spicy yeast lees. Creamy and complex in the mouth, yet this a supple, textural wine with great structure that would sit well alongside roast chicken, pork or any seafood main.
Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2010, Hawke’s Bay ($60)
The overall impression is of toasty, malty, complex flavours, showing great breadth and development. It is difficult to tell where the fruit ends and the oak begins. Powerful wine, nicely textured, and a treat for your dinner guests.
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Chardonnay 2011, Gisborne ($36.90)
There are roasted hazelnut, vanillin, spice and some lovely high-toned oak characters here, meanwhile the fruit is restrained and delicate. A tight, structured wine that manages to also be warm and mouth-filling. Some components are unresolved, but nevertheless it is generous and rich. TOP 10
More Best Wines for Winter 2015:
Light, Fruity Whites
Tasty, Textural Whites
Light or Aromatic Reds
Medium-bodied, Savoury Reds