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Friday, 29 April 2011

Private Bin East Coast Chardonnay, 2010, New Zealand - Villa Maria

Like the Gewürztraminer I reviewed recently (see here), the grapes for this Villa Maria wine come from a number of sites along the eastern coast of New Zealand - Gisborne, Hawkes Bay plus a small portion from the Marlborough region.

The company's website also tells me that it is cool fermented in both stainless steel tanks and barrel to give a soft and well-balanced wine, with some aging on the lees.

Pale golden in the glass, there are exotic fruits and buttery spice on the nose; the palate shows crisp, rounded linear acidity and ripe, citrussy pineapple fruit backed up by layers of buttery oak.

There is a mouthfilling, leesy richness whilst some toastiness on the mid-palate leads into a long, savoury finish with some gentle tannic grip.

What is interesting about this wine is that, even after opening up with some more air, it does not try to impress with a wide-ranging, complex array of fruit-driven aromas that one often finds in the New World, but rather, it displays a depth of savoury flavour that I am more used to finding in Old World artisan wines.

And thinking back, it is the same quality that impressed me with their Pinot Noir (reviewed previously here) even if I did not quite express it in those terms at the time.

I am left wondering whether it is intentional that the two Villa Maria wines from Burgundian grape varieties - the gastronomic heart of France - should show this food-friendly savouriness or whether it is, in the case of this wine at least, merely a reaction to the backlash against overly oaky Chardonnay.

Match with typical Chardie food - slow-roast chicken or seafood especially.

£9.99, provided for review.


Villa Maria - http://www.villamaria.co.nz/

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