Te Mata Elston Chardonnay 2006

I tasted another Te Mata Chardonnay, the Woodthorpe Vineyard wine, a couple of weeks ago and was quite impressed. So I picked up Te Mata’s premium Chardonnay eagerly at cellar door, and today had the chance to open it for a drink. Nice wine to finish off Christmas Day, I reckon.Youthful, pale hay colour, good clarity. The nose is quite tight, with some yeasty characters along with zingy citrus and some nutty oak. Balanced and subtle, with flavours showing excellent integration. The wine’s entry is very fresh due to prominent acidity, and marks the start of a very structured, driven line that shoots right down the middle of the tongue. The middle palate shows an array of flavours ranging from cooler climate Chardonnay fruit to yeasty/creamy characters and nutty/spicy oak. Fruit flavour is moderately intense and of good complexity. As with the Woodthorpe, the wine is really well balanced, each element contributing an appropriate amount of flavour and structure to the wine. Unlike the Woodthorpe, the Elston is much more structural, at least at this stage. This translates to an impression of astringency and suggests the wine might drink well in a couple of years’ time. An impressive wine that is all about harmony rather than impact and scale. Drink this with a creamy pasta dish and leave some in the bottle to ponder through the evening. Good value for what it is.Te Mata EstatePrice: $NZ37.20Closure: DiamDate tasted: December 2007

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