Top picks of New Zealand chardonnay's 2016 vintage

by Michael Cooper / 23 September, 2017
RelatedArticlesModule - Wine

New Zealand chardonnay. Photo/Getty Images

Wine columnist Michael Cooper lists some of the best New Zealand chardonnays of 2016.

If you could drink only the white wine of a single grape variety, what would it be? For me, the selection would be easy, because as a source of deeply satisfying, full-bodied dry whites, chardonnay is unparalleled.

At the end of the warm, heavy-cropping 2016 vintage, winemakers picked chardonnay as a highlight. There’s now a great array on offer, from fresh and buoyantly fruity to powerful, rich and complex.

Beach House The Levels Stoney Beach Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 •••••

This already delicious, classy wine was estate-grown in The Levels Vineyard, Te Awanga, and fermented and mat ured in French oak casks. Fragrant and full-bodied (13% alc/vol), it has highly concentrated, ripe stone-fruit flavours, enriched with toasty oak, and excellent complexity. $35

Hunter’s Unoaked Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 ••••

This single-vineyard wine was handled solely in tanks, rather than barrels. Drinking well now, it is mouthfilling (13% alc/vol), with strong, vibrant grapefruit and peach flavours, moderate acidity and a long, fully dry finish. $19

Lake Chalice The Raptor Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 ••••½

Unexpectedly classy for its price, this refined wine was made from hand-picked grapes and fermented and aged in French oak barriques. Fragrant, mouthfilling (13% alc/vol) and creamy-textured, it has vibrant peach and grapefruit flavours, leesy, biscuity notes adding complexity, and a finely poised, persistent finish. $23

Selaks The Taste Collection Hawke’s Bay Buttery Chardonnay 2016 ••••

If you like soft, buttery chardonnays, try this. Mostly barrel-fermented, it is full-bodied (13% alc/vol), with ripe, peachy flavours and strong buttery, toasty notes – as you’d expect. $22

The Boneline Barebone Waipara Chardonnay 2016 ••••½

If you are looking for an unoaked, chablis-style chardonnay, this beauty is hard to beat. It’s not at all brash, but still full of personality. Mouthfilling (13% alc/vol), it is fresh and vibrant, with pure, delicate, citrusy, peachy flavours, lively acidity, a minerally streak and excellent vigour and length. $23

Vidal Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 ••••

Bargain-priced, this wine was fermented in French oak barriques. It is full-bodied (13% alc/vol), with vibrant grapefruit-like flavours, a subtle seasoning of biscuity oak, fresh acidity and youthful vigour. $20

Wine of the week

Pask Small Batch Gimblett Road Wild Ferment Chardonnay 2016 ••••

Estate-grown, this attractive Hawke’s Bay wine was fermented with natural (wild) yeasts and barrel-matured. It is fresh and elegant, with substantial body (13% alc/vol), lively, citrusy, peachy flavours, gently seasoned with oak, good complexity, and a fragrant bouquet. $25

This article was first published in the September 9, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

March of the Algorithms: Who’s at the wheel in the age of the machine?
102434 2019-02-16 00:00:00Z Tech

March of the Algorithms: Who’s at the wheel in the…

by Jenny Nicholls

Complacently relying on algorithms can lead us over a cliff – literally, in the case of car navigation systems.

Read more
IBM’s new quantum computer: The future of computing
102458 2019-02-16 00:00:00Z Tech

IBM’s new quantum computer: The future of computin…

by Peter Griffin

The Q System One, as IBM calls it, doesn’t look like any conventional computer and it certainly doesn’t act like one.

Read more
James Shaw: Capital gains tax key to fixing wealth gap
102456 2019-02-15 14:54:45Z Politics

James Shaw: Capital gains tax key to fixing wealth…

by RNZ

The week before a major tax report is released, Green Party co-leader James Shaw has again challenged his government partners to back the tax.

Read more
Jealousy, murder and lies: The killing of Arishma Chand
102448 2019-02-15 10:28:12Z Crime

Jealousy, murder and lies: The killing of Arishma…

by Anneke Smith

Arishma Chand was just 24 when she was murdered.

Read more
Top wine picks from Central Otago
102233 2019-02-15 00:00:00Z Wine

Top wine picks from Central Otago

by Michael Cooper

Tucked into small corners, Central Otago vineyards offer nuggets worth digging for. Wine critic Michael Coopers offers his top picks.

Read more
Ivanka and her tower of crumbs
102404 2019-02-14 10:33:12Z Arts

Ivanka and her tower of crumbs

by Preminda Jacob

For two hours each evening, an Ivanka Trump lookalike has been vacuuming a hot pink carpet at the Flashpoint Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Read more
Youth mental health is in crisis and NZ is failing to keep up
102393 2019-02-14 09:52:16Z Social issues

Youth mental health is in crisis and NZ is failing…

by The Listener

The introduction of a free youth mental-health pilot for Porirua, and later the wider region, is welcome news, but it's far too little, far too late.

Read more
Guyon Espiner: Year of delivery begins in defensive crouch
102387 2019-02-14 09:21:07Z Politics

Guyon Espiner: Year of delivery begins in defensiv…

by Guyon Espiner

For a government promising 'a year of delivery' it has begun in something of a defensive crouch.

Read more