CLOUDY BAY CHARDONNAY 2017
The 2017 growing season began with ideal spring conditions; warm temperatures and few frost events encouraged good canopy growth. Settled weather over flowering led to high potential crops, fruit thinning was widely employed to reduce yield and achieve optimum vine balance. Fastidious canopy management throughout the mild and sunny growing season ensured fruit developed, then ripened, at an ideal rate. The excellent weather during the ripening season was interrupted by rain events during the harvest. The single-minded quality focus of the viticulture and winemaking teams, with hour by hour assessment, led to optimum picking decisions. Our low-yielding, early-ripening vineyards with their open canopies, stood us in good stead in what was a tricky vintage across Marlborough and New Zealand.
Bright, lifted citrus aromatics of kaffir lime and grapefruit abound, supported by ripe nectarine-like notes. An elegant, concentrated palate reveals juicy stone fruit and lemongrass, supported by a lovely minerality. Its crisp acidity leads to a mouth-watering and persistent finish, suggesting a sauvignon blanc with age ability.
Immediately appealing and expressive, the 2017 Chardonnay reveals layers of attractive ripe orchard fruits and ripe peach on the nose, frame by subtle spice and gentle notes of roasted hazelnut.
The palate shows a vibrant freshness, perfectly balancing the rounded nectarine and greengage fruit core. Intense and concentrated, with a long finish of juicy stone fruit and citrus florals.
We hand-picked the Chardonnay from March 31st until April 20th, at a point of excellent flavour concentration and acid balance.
After gentle pressing, the juice was settled and racked, before being transferred to French oak barriques of which 15% were new. After fermentation, the wine rested in barrel for 11 months before blending. 27% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation.