The ABCs of chardonnay

June 18, 2010

NZ Herald, 18 June 2010

I’ve just sampled several hundred chardonnays at this year’s International Chardonnay Challenge in Gisborne but instead of crying “Anything But Chardonnay” – the slogan of those bored by the variety, I’m entreating wine drinkers to Appreciate Beautiful Chardonnays!

There’s been something of a chardonnay revolution of late with styles brought back into synch with current tastes and winemakers both here and abroad creating arguably some of the best chardonnay we’ve ever witnessed.

One surprise win was the ICC’s Top Regional Chardonnay North Island Trophy being awarded to the impressive wine – Cognoscenti Gisborne Chardonnay 2009 – made at Gisborne’s Tairāwhiti Polytechnic, a rich creamy textured example with notes of toasted nuts and a fresh line of citrus. “It’s pretty huge for any small winery to get such an accolade,” says winemaking and viticulture tutor James Hillard.

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