2017 Quarter Acre Chardonnay Hawke's Bay (Previously $25)

SKU #1389383 94 points Sam Kim

 Wonderfully ripe and fragrant, the gorgeous bouquet shows rockmelon, fig, white nectarine and vanilla characters with subtle oatmeal complexity. The palate is concentrated and beautifully weighted, delivering lovely fruit purity together with elegant oak infusion, brilliantly framed by bright acidity. At its best: now to 2021.  (4/2018)

90 points Raymond Chan

 Bright, light straw colour with slight green hues. The nose is very elegant and slender in presentation with a fine and tightly packed core of white stonefruits along with nuances of citrus fruit and white floral suggestions, unfolding minerally lees and nutty oak detail. This combines intensity with finesse. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with taut, but intense and penetrating flavours of white stonefruits with hints of citrus fruit and white floral elements. The fruit is detailed by subtle notes of minerally lees and nutty oak. The flavours possess a subtle richness which is balanced by crisp, lacy acidity, and the wine flows smoothly along a very fine line with good energy and tension, leading to a slim, but sustained finish. This is a taut but intense Chardonnay with white stonefruit, floral and nutty flavours and subtle complexing detail on a refreshing palate with good tension. It will develop more richness over the next+ years, Serve with seafood and poultry. Fruit predominantly from ‘Doc’s Block’, Haumoana, vines approx. 20 y.o. along with fruit from Ngaruroro river terrace site, vines 12 y.o., hand-picked, WBP and fully indigenous yeast barrel-fermented with high solids to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 50% new oak with 40% MLF.  (4/2018)

K&L Notes

Quarter Acre is a small project from highly acclaimed winemaker Rod Mcdonald. This tiny range of wines represent small productions for tiny vineyard parcels (hence Quarter Acre) from sites that he thinks have a unique expression of terroir. These are his most "edgy" wines that push the boundaries of non-interventionist winemaking in pursuit of purity and authenticity of place. Winery note: "Subtle mineral, toast and peach characters on the nose, lemon curd and a precise, taut palate. Packed full of Hawke’s Bay, this Chard is one chalky, complex bad boy!"

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By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Now, normally, I do NOT write up Chardonnay, rather than Burgundy. I know that sounds snooty but, I just love higher acid, cleaner white wines. However, this is the exception. It has a classic Chardonnay nose of yellow apples and toast. In the mouth, it also has golden apples and a certain richness with a slight buttery overtone. It has everything that I usually don't like! Golden, somewhat rich fruit, butter and toast. So, just WHY do I like this wine so much? BALANCE! It is balanced! The oak and acidity meld together to make this wine interesting, tasty and quite wonderful. I nearly fell off my chair.

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.