Te Mata Estate Woodthorpe Vineyard Chardonnay 2006

This is a single vineyard wine from the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand. According to the label, it’s gone through the gamut of winemaking tricks, including lees contact and malolactic fermentation. The nose immediately establishes the flavour profile of this wine’s fruit. It’s very much in the nectarine spectrum, quite ripe and with good complexity. There’s some spicy oak influence too, but it sits on the edges. The wine’s entry has good impact and spreads flavour quickly to the middle palate, where more of the same delicious fruit is evident. There’s some nuttiness, though I can’t detect the creaminess that might indicate lees stirring. There’s also a subtle butterscotch richness from the malo, but it’s very much a supporting note here, the fruit taking centre stage. Really good intensity of flavour, with a driving line that helps the fruit to sing. There’s a fair amount of acidity and this keeps the wine both focussed and fresh, although it also means there’s considerable astringency on the palate. The wine’s after palate continues on for some time, and the finish is of decent length, with echoes of the fruit seeming to stick to the back of the tongue. There are subtle phenolics that add some texture to the finish also.Really nice wine, this one. I think what impresses me most is the restraint of the winemaking combined with the intensity of the fruit flavour. Nice things to have, especially when it comes to Chardonnay. Good value too.Te Mata EstatePrice: $NZ23Closure: StelvinDate tasted: December 2007

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