Te Kairanga Casarina Reserve Chardonnay 2006

I’m starting to wonder if I’m ever going to find a bottle of chardonnay that’s a color I want to see in front of me. Once again, this has got that buffed to a sheen glare I’d rather see in a Manhattan lobby than in a glass in front of me. Whatever, though, I should probably find something more serious to talk about than mere looks. Right?There’s a hell of a nose on this wine. It’s like a Supermarket Sweep contestant was so stressed that they filled the cart with Lemoneheads and Fleischmann’s Yeast, sort of: it’s kind of a hypnotic twisting in the breeze between fantastic cleaning products, 1950s style, and something a bit funkier – Thanksgiving Parker House rolls, perhaps, glistening with eggwhite fresh out of the oven. And yes, yes, there’s also subtle vanillin oak there as well, giving you pretty much everything you could hope for in a New World chardonnay.Nowhere near a California butter bomb in the mouth, the bright, sunny fruit is well preserved indeed, not taking a back seat to any kind of winemaker intervention. remaining squarely in the center here. I’m disappointed that the yeasty notes on the nose largely disappear once you taste it, but the texture is lovely indeed, slightly creamy, finishing on a every so slightly bitter note well hidden behind perky acidity. There’s also a subtly woody note on the midpalate which seems slightly off – it’s a little more overt than everything else deserves, I think – but all in all this is a lovely bottle of wine.That being said, I’m not sure what marks this as distinctly Kiwi. I find it slightly hard to distinguish between this, the Neil Ellis Elgin chardonnay from last week, and any number of New World wines. Thankfully, though, this is a fine example of the genre.Te Kairanga
Price: NZ $29
Closure: Stelvin

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