The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Cameron Douglas MS wine review: Chardonnay

As a wine taster and reviewer of all things beverage, one of the most interesting wine varieties that I get excited about is Chardonnay. The key reason being diversity.

This diversity is driven explicitly by site, condition of fruit, harvest and winemaking choices. One or more, or all of these factors in combination can deliver outstanding examples.

Chardonnay has a thousand different faces and which one, or few, suit our customer base is a complex question. I hope you can find some markers that meet the needs of your clientele through some of the wines presented this month.

Cameron Douglas MS explores some of the options in this month’s tasting guide, here are some of his top picks…

Trinity Hill Single Vineyard 125 Gimblett Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2022

Fantastic bouquet, complex and intriguing, layers of fresh citrus and barrel spices, a core of lees and barrel spices, some positive light reductive qualities, crumbled stone and baked goods. Delicious, weighty, taut, youthful and fresh with a complex mouthfeel and structure, flavours of citrus and stone fruit reflect the bouquet. Fine tannins and plenty of acidity, texture and length. A wonderful example with best drinking from late 2024 through 2034.

Points: 96
RRP: $80.00
Hancocks Wine and Spirit Merchants
Phone: (09) 361 8480

Čuvar Rivermere Vineyard Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2021

There’s a definitive complexity within the bouquet of this wine, aromas of place then fruit, careful selection of barrels and skilled winemaking. As the wine opens out in glass a touch of gun-flint delivers a youthful quality then scents of stone fruits, nut and citrus fruits. Full-boded, warm and generous as the wine touches the palate, textures and flavours of white and yellow fruits, oak and wood spices, gun-flint, Brazil nut, and complexity. A delicious wine ticking the boxes of texture and flavour, a backbone of acidity with a lengthy complex finish. Best drinking from mid to late 2024 through 2030.

Points: 95
RRP: $43.99
Fistonich Family Vineyards
Phone: (027) 6789 044

Domaine Rewa Central Otago Chardonnay 2022

An enticing bouquet of ripe yellow fleshed fruits and wood spices, mineral and new fine grained toasty barrel scents. Equally delicious on the palate with a silken cream-fresh texture then flavours of fresh and roasted peaches, fresh red apple and nectarine. The oak and tannins are finely tuned and well placed. The minerality is key to this wine and carried nicely with the acid line touching all corners of the palate. Best drinking from late 2023 or early 2024 through 2030.

Points: 95
RRP: $55.00
Wag & Co Wines
Phone: (021) 516 540

To read all of Cameron’s wine reviews, click here!

Cameron Douglas is New Zealand’s first and only Master Sommelier. An experienced wine commentator, judge, reviewer, presenter and consultant, he is the Beverage Director & Group Sommelier for Rodd & Gunn and is the Patron of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association. Formerly academically in charge of the Wine & Beverage Programme at AUT in Auckland, Douglas has also consulted to a variety of establishments, taking care of their wine lists, wine and food pairings, and staff training matters, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas.

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