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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > NEW WORLD: Chardonnay New Zealand

Winner Details

New World: Chardonnay, New Zealand

2015: Gold 2 Silver 5 Bronze 4 Commended 1
2014: Gold 0 Silver 1 Bronze 2 Commended 0


Given its combination of ‘sunshine plus coolness’, there’s always been a feeling in the Sommelier Wine Awards that New Zealand should do better with Chardonnay in this competition. And this year, finally, it did. Interestingly, for those who think that NZ is all about the South Island, nearly half the medals here went to Hawkes Bay, which, on this evidence, clearly had a good 2013 vintage.

From The Tasting Teams


‘There was enormous disparity: some very classic styles that really nailed it, others missed the mark. But there were some delicious options, covering different price-points. A clear desire for experimentation really showed through.’ Mya Brown, Vinoteca Marylebone

‘I think Chardonnay is a real future for New Zealand and I wasn’t disappointed here; really lovely wines made in real Burgundian styles.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

Award winners

Found 12 wines

New World: Chardonnay, New Zealand

Nautilus, Chardonnay 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Refinement and elegance took Nautilus to the Gold podium with this food-friendly wine. Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering said: ‘Beautifully balanced wine, a real mouth filler, but restrained and very sophisticated.’ ‘Sweet, fresh pear and blossom notes, enlivening,’ added team leader Jade Koch, while Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn concluded: 'Stunning quality, with notes of soft stone fruit and English orchards. Drink with fine grilled turbot with asparagus and truffles.'

£12.97 Negociants

Elephant Hill, Chardonnay 2013, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

'Fresh, classic New Zealand,' said Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, illustrating why Elephant Hill took top honours, and adding: 'Sprightly, tropical and intense, with lovely balance and long flavour, soft and buttery and then a clear citrus finish.' ‘Mineral, restrained, oaky style, elegant with bright acidity, fresh and balanced,’ noted team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Mya Brown of Vinoteca Marylebone adding: ‘Caramel apple nose and lots of vanilla on the palate, but good balance.’ Match with chilli squid or caramelised pork.

£8.85 Barwell & Jones

Mission, Reserve, Chardonnay 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Good fruit and nice integration of oak, well made, with lovely mineral intensity,’ said James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering adding: ‘Clean and fresh, but with a lively balance', and Jeremie Guiraud of Lords of the Manor noting: 'Wonderful balance between creaminess and exotic fruit. Beautiful with pork escalope, roast turbot and halibut.'

£11.61 Cockburn & Campbell

Spy Valley, Envoy, Johnson Vineyard, Chardonnay 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Burgundian style, mineral with lovely acidity, elegant and precise and delicious,’ said impressed team leader Annette Scarfe MW. ‘Very mineral on the nose, with flint and slate. Elegant and lingering,’ added consultant sommelier Christophe Richelet.

£14.02 Bibendum

Accolade Wines, Waipara Hills, Chardonnay 2013, South Island, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Mellow on the nose, with a concentration of fine tropical fruits and balanced minerality playing delicately on the palate,’ said Mark Graham of Butlers Wharf Chop House. ‘An attractive, balanced wine, rich and ripe but with a restraint,’ agreed Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering.

£8.76 Matthew Clark

Huia, Chardonnay 2009, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Smoky aromas with slightly oxidised nutty, leafy notes, peachy apricot on a very dry, toasty palate and a good finish,’ said Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at The InterContinental Hotel. ‘Generous, opulent style balanced by striking acidity,’ added consultant sommelier Christophe Richelet.

£12.75 Bibendum

Elephant Hill, Reserve, Chardonnay 2013, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Smoky, flinty, complex nose, bright acidity, ripe fruit on a toasty, spicy palate that’s well integrated, with a buttery finish,’ said Mya Brown of Vinoteca Marylebone. ‘Lots of nutty new French oak, vibrant, fresh acidity, attractive traditional style,’ added team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£11.36 Barwell & Jones

Fromm, La Strada, Chardonnay 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Soft, grassy, sweet lime fruit on the nose, very smooth and elegant with a soft mineral style and a touch of sweetness on the finish,’ said team leader Jade Koch, adding: ‘Lots of white stone fruit and apple.’

£15.15 Boutinot

Vidal, Legacy Series, Chardonnay 2013, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Complex and delicate, with lively acidity and bags of fruit, with oak in moderation,’ began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Mya Brown of Vinoteca Marylebone adding: ‘Rich, rounded, complex nose, shows some development and intensity.’

£22.19 Hatch Mansfield

Trinity Hill, Chardonnay 2013, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Flinty and fruit-forward on the nose, baked apple fruit, delicate, pastry-esque oak influence. Easy and quaffable,’ said Mya Brown of Vinoteca Marylebone.‘Nose lifted with lemon leaves, with a palate of stone fruit with smoky notes,’ added consultant sommelier Christophe Richelet.

£9.94 Liberty Wines

Trinity Hill, Gimblett Gravels, Chardonnay 2012, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Soft, delicate aromas with good intensity on the palate, clean and mineral, with a long finish,' said James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, with team leader Jade Koch adding: 'Honeysuckle aromas and pure acidity, will age well.'

£13.70 Liberty Wines

Vidal, Reserve Series, Chardonnay 2014, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

 

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