Hawke’s Bay. On this side of the ditch this superb region is regularly forgotten. If it starred with pinot noir, like Martinborough or Central Otago, it would be a very different story. But what it does do beautifully is merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and, you guessed it, chardonnay, and this wine is an absolute ripper.
Powerful and precise it opens up slowly and teases you on the way. There is nectarine, citrus, grilled cashews topped off with some high quality vanilla bean oak. It is then dry, tangy, even muscular in the mouth – layers of citrus and honeysuckle fruits are beautifully intertwined with what is, at the moment, slightly heavy oak, but not for long. The finish is generous and long with stony minerality also providing an attractive savoury edge to its zesty acidity. Give it a couple of years, when the fruit has returned and the oak dialled back a touch, and this wine will be singing.