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2014 Wither Hills Chardonnay

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Cracka Review

Will Chardonnay from Marlborough ever rival Sauvignon Blanc from the region? Probably not but that’s not to say that the quality is overlooked because the winemakers at Wither Hills believe it’s going to be the next chapter. It’s got plenty going for it on the nose, hinting at lime, grapefruit and nectarine and underpinned by spicy oak. It’s structured and poised, elegant and complete with a precise fruit core and excellent natural acidity. Refined and restrained this wine would go well with the delicacy of fresh lobster with garlic butter.

Winemaker's Notes

Aromas
Purity and elegance define this cool climate Chardonnay with subtle fresh lime, grapefruit and white peach interlaced with fine grained French oak nuances of spice, cinnamon and toasted cashew.

Palate
An impressively structured wine, balancing natural fruit weight, seamless acidity and poise from the Mendoza clone along with the texture and minerality of our Rarangi Vineyard to give a long, lingering finish. A beautifully elegant wine that brings the senses to life and reinvigorates one's love of Chardonnay.

Food Pairing
A wonderful match with hot cedar smoked salmon, pumpkin ravioli, as well as the classic roast chicken.

Winemaking
Our Chardonnay sites are strategically sited throughout the Wairau Valley. Each vineyard was harvested at its optimum flavor profile and kept separate throughout the winemaking process to ensure vineyard integrity and to provide the greatest possible expression. The fruit was gently pressed, ambiently settled overnight, racked to 225 and 300 litre French barrels, inoculated with selected yeast strains, lees stirred to develop texture and complexity, then left to relax for 10 months in the barrel. The vineyard parcels are then racked, blended, fined, filtered and bottled to capture the remarkable mineral fruit weight and structure of this stunning Marlborough Chardonnay.

Viticulture
Marlborough was sun-drenched throughout late spring and summer as the 2014 growing season saw daily temperatures consistently above long-term averages, resulting in one of the warmest summers in the last decade. Flowering and fruit set progressed without concern and we knew we were set up for a great harvest. With the warm weather continuing, ripening progressed quickly and harvest commenced earlier than in previous years. In true Marlborough style, flavours showed great intensity early in the season, but patience was certainly rewarded with the increase of concentration, complexity and balance as the fruit basked in the Marlborough sunshine.

Technical Information

Alcohol: 13.5%
pH: 3.4
Residual Sugar: 1 g/l

expert reviews about

2014 Wither Hills Chardonnay

Expert Reviews

Michael Cooper (2003 Vintage) says
This is a classy wine with a formidable track record in shows. Powerful, with a mealy, biscuity complexity from fermentation and lees-aging in French oak casks (typically 50 per cent new), it offers the intense flavours of Marlborough fruit, with a long, creamy finish. The grapes are grown in company-controlled vineyards, spread along the south side of the Wairau Valley. In a recent vertical tasting of the 1998 to 2003 vintages, the wine looked best at two to four years old; the 2001 is lovely now. The 2003, made with 25 per cent malolactic fermentation, has rich toast and butterscotch aromas leading into a smooth, peachy, mealy, rounded palate, impressively concentrated, in a bold, upfront style.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
Michael Cooper (2001 Vintage) says
Made by Brent Marris, who built his reputation at Delegat's but now focuses his energies wholly on Wither Hills, this is a classy wine with a formidable competition track record. A powerful wine, with a mealy, biscuity complexity from fermentation and lees-aging in French oak casks (typically 60 per cent new), it offers the intense flavours of Marlborough fruit, with a deliciously long, creamy finish. The 2000 is fragrant, rich and complex, with excellent depth of ripe stone-fruit and cashew nut flavours and a slightly creamy texture. The 2001 vintage is a beauty and very typical of the label. Full and deliciously soft (softness and delicacy are hallmarks of Marris' white wines), it is vibrantly fruity and concentrated, with deep grapefruit, melon and toasty oak flavours, all in lovely harmony.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
Michael Cooper (2000 Vintage) says
Made by Brent Marris, who built his reputation at Delegat's but now focuses his energies wholly on Wither Hills, this is a classy wine with a formidable competition track record. A powerful wine, with a mealy, biscuity complexity from fermentation and lees-aging in French oak casks (typically 60 per cent new), it offers the intense flavours of Marlborough fruit, with a deliciously long, creamy finish. The 2000 is fragrant, rich and complex, with excellent depth of ripe stone-fruit and cashew nut flavours and a slightly creamy texture. The 2001 vintage is a beauty and very typical of the label. Full and deliciously soft (softness and delicacy are hallmarks of Marris' white wines), it is vibrantly fruity and concentrated, with deep grapefruit, melon and toasty oak flavours, all in lovely harmony.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
James Halliday (1998 Vintage) says
Medium yellow-green; in the mainstream of New Zealand Chardonnay style, with fairly potent barrel-ferment aromas on the bouquet. The palate is rich and round, with figgy melon fruit, but I would still prefer a little less oak and a little more fruit focus. That said, a smart wine.
Australian Wine Companion 2001 2001
89
Michael Cooper (1998 Vintage) says
Made by Brent Marris, who built his reputation at Delegat's but now focuses his energies wholly on Wither Hills, this is an exceptionally classy wine, with a formidable competition track record. A powerful wine, with a mealy, biscuity complexity from fermentation and lees-aging in French oak casks (typically 60 per cent new), it overflows with the intense flavours of Marlborough fruit, with a deliciously long, creamy finish. The 1994 to 1998 vintages are all drinking superbly. The 1998 is a big, seamless wine, bursting with ripe tropical fruit characters. Mouthfilling and slightly creamy, with a hint of butterscotch, it shows impressive delicacy and softer acidity than usual.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
Michael Cooper (1997 Vintage) says
Made by Brent Marris, who built his reputation at Delegat's but now focuses his energies wholly on Wither Hills, this is an exceptionally classy wine, with a formidable competition track record. A powerful wine, with a mealy, biscuity complexity from fermentation and lees-aging in French oak casks (typically 60 per cent new), it overflows with the intense flavours of Marlborough fruit, with a deliciously long, creamy finish. The 1994 to 1998 vintages are all drinking superbly. The 1998 is a big, seamless wine, bursting with ripe tropical fruit characters. Mouthfilling and slightly creamy, with a hint of butterscotch, it shows impressive delicacy and softer acidity than usual.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
James Halliday (1996 Vintage) says
Medium to full yellow-green; the stylish and tangy bouquet shows obvious barrel-ferment characters; the palate, however, is marvellously soft yet not flabby, with a textured silky delicacy surrounded by nectarine fruit and some cashew characters.
Australian Wine Companion 1999 1998
90
Michael Cooper (1996 Vintage) says
Made by Brent Marris, who built his reputation at Delegat's but now focuses his energies wholly on Wither Hills, this is an exceptionally classy wine, with a formidable competition track record. A powerful wine, with a mealy, biscuity complexity from fermentation and lees-aging in French oak casks (typically 60 per cent new), it overflows with the intense flavours of Marlborough fruit, with a deliciously long, creamy finish. The 1994 to 1998 vintages are all drinking superbly. The 1998 is a big, seamless wine, bursting with ripe tropical fruit characters. Mouthfilling and slightly creamy, with a hint of butterscotch, it shows impressive delicacy and softer acidity than usual.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
Michael Cooper (1994 Vintage) says
Made by Brent Marris, who built his reputation at Delegat's but now focuses his energies wholly on Wither Hills, this is an exceptionally classy wine, with a formidable competition track record. A powerful wine, with a mealy, biscuity complexity from fermentation and lees-aging in French oak casks (typically 60 per cent new), it overflows with the intense flavours of Marlborough fruit, with a deliciously long, creamy finish. The 1994 to 1998 vintages are all drinking superbly. The 1998 is a big, seamless wine, bursting with ripe tropical fruit characters. Mouthfilling and slightly creamy, with a hint of butterscotch, it shows impressive delicacy and softer acidity than usual.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
Michael Cooper (1993 Vintage) says
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines

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