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The Small Parcels “Wild Grace” Chardonnay is named for the rugged beauty of the landscape surrounding our Hawke’s Bay vineyards, as well as the complexity and elegance of this wild-fermented Chardonnay. This is our first Small Parcels Chardonnay since 2007. The perfect 2013 vintage in Hawke’s Bay, coupled with the exceptional quality of fruit from our two finest Chardonnay vineyards, inspired us to carefully craft this special wine.
“Wild Grace” is composed exclusively of the six best parcels from our two finest Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay vineyards, Corner 50 and Strathallan. Corner 50 is the estate vineyard surrounding our Hawke’s Bay winery, located on the red metal soils of the esteemed Bridge Pa Triangle subregion. Here, mature clone 15 vines produce moderate yields of concentrated fruit with predominantly stone fruit flavours. Strathallan is in the cool, elevated Crownthorpe Terraces subregion. Here, Burgundy clone 95 vines, and particularly cool nights, produce low yields of around two tons per acre of taut, minerally fruit with prominently fine citrus flavours.
Hand-harvesting and gentle whole bunch pressing have resulted in an elegant, silky wine. Indigenous fermentation in French oak barriques has contributed mineral aromatics, while maturation in those barriques (25% new) for 10 months has resulted in integrated spice and hazelnut flavours on the finish. 50% malolactic fermentation and gentle fortnightly battonage has contributed further complexity and texture.
Aroma: This compelling wine offers bright citrus, apple, pear and stone fruit plus captivating minerality and baking spices from the oak. Wild yeast fermentation and 10 months lees aging results in an enormously complex wine with a rich, creamy body. The finish is incredibly long and delicious. Different than most New Zealand Chardonnays, this reminds me of a fine Mersault from Burgundy.
Palate: Mid straw in appearance, this elegant Chardonnay displays a compelling nose of white peach, citrus, and nutty complexities. The palate is concentrated and balanced by fine minerality and a taut structure, with a silky texture through to the long, nutty, toasty finish.
Cellar: Best enjoyed 2015 - 2020