New Zealand is famous for Sauvignon, famous for Pinot Noir, but not yet famous enough for Chardonnay. Well, at least that’s what I think. It’s a grape variety capable of greatness in some parts of the country, and – more specifically, some parts of some parts of the country. This week I’ve tried two good ones, from very different places. The first is from Te Awanga in Hawke’s Bay, a cool coastal subregion that makes some smart Chardonnay. This was a sample.
Elephant Hill Chardonnay 2016 Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. From Te Awanga, which seems to be suited to Chardonnay, this is taut, lean and quite mineral with some reductive hints and good concentration to the citrus and pear fruit. Still quite backward with keen acidity, this has a bright future ahead of it. Stony and taut on the finish. 94/100 (£19.95 Corney & Barrow)
The second is from Marlborough. It’s one of the wines from the impressive micronegociant operation Corofin, who I’ve reported on before. I bought this wine at the New Zealand Cellar in Pop Brixton, although I can’t find it on their website.
Corofin Chardonnay Carter Ashmore Vineyard North Corner 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Tight and lemony with very fine toasty, spicy notes alongside citrus and pineapple fruit. Linear with some lovely restraint, but under the surface there’s power here, and – I suspect – longevity. Has a real energy to it. 94/100
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