In an exceptional vintage, where superior ripeness is achieved, Matawhero hand craft this limited release barrel fermented style of Gisborne Chardonnay. Their flagship Chardonnay, it is a tribute to the late Bill Irwin and his son Denis, the founders of Matawhero Wines. It is stunning, with its elegance, character and balance. The nose is full of pear, melon, stone fruit, floral notes, oak and nuts. On the palate it feels full-bodied, with harmonious acidity giving space between dominant oaky notes and a medley of peach, pear, honey and subtle citrus presence. Long, powerful and creamy finish. It is one to savour.
A great wine to pair with seafood such as scallops and crayfish.
"This is the kind of buttery and beautifully balanced Chardonnay that gets me excited about this grape. It is stunning. You can taste the care taken to produce layers of flavour in every drop. This would make a superb gift or serve it up with some scallops at home."
This flagship Chardonnay is made from 100% Mendoza grapes from the famous Tietjen vineyard on the Golden Slopes sub region of Gisborne. The site has a rich history in producing award-winning Chardonnay for over 20 years. This narrow 10km strip is made up of small parcels of elevated sloping land. Medium to heavy Kaiti clay base is overlaid with 20-30cm of light black topsoil, with influences from the limestone foothills. These conditions allow vines to grow with a balance suited to super-premium winemaking.
Matawhero target low volumes, the grapes are hand leaf plucked and the crop reduced to 6 tonnes per hectare to increase the intensity and flavours in the wine.
Hand picked in the cool of the morning, the fruit for this wine achieved superb ripeness after another warm season in Gisborne. The grapes were gently pressed and slightly clarified prior to fermentation. The juice was then inoculated with the indigenous yeast from the vineyard using a technique called Pied du Cuvé. They pick a small parcel of grapes and crush prior to the full harvest and allow them to ferment on the skins. These are then added back into the juice to ferment the full parcel. This delivers a true expression and terroir of the vineyard and provides layers of flavour and aroma complexity, as well as wonderful palate texture. Fermentation in a mixture of American and Hungarian oak barriques ensures a perfect integration of oak character and full malolactic fermentation adds richness and length. The wine is sur lie for 10 months before careful fining and bottling.