NZ Chardon­nay and NZ Spe­cialty Whites

Cuisine - - CONTENTS - writes JOHN SAKER.

THE GREAT NEW ZEALAND chardon­nay renaissance con­tin­ues, driven by the courage and con­fi­dence of some of our finest wine­mak­ers. Anec­do­tally at least, you hear of peo­ple pin­ing for the but­tery, oaky styles of yes­ter­year. But over­all, chardon­nay today is a classier, more re­fined of­fer­ing than it was 20 or so years ago, and more con­sumers are re­turn­ing to it as a re­sult. The Cui­sine panel felt this lat­est tast­ing rep­re­sented another step up across the board in terms of chardon­nay qual­ity. “It’s a very ex­cit­ing phase for New Zealand chardon­nay,” said panel chair John Belsham. “We’re playing more to our strengths – fruit ex­pres­sion and nat­u­ral acid­ity – than we have in the past. We’re em­brac­ing that fruit and en­hanc­ing it, so the wines have per­son­al­ity as well as har­mony.” Added Jane Boyle: “It’s in­ter­est­ing that cer­tain pro­duc­ers keep coming through, vin­tage after vin­tage, although their styles are con­stantly evolv­ing. They recog­nise it’s above all about beau­ti­ful fruit.”

Giesen vine­yard

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