May 25, 2008

Wine Review: Church Road Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2006

We still haven't found that perfect New Zealand wine blog we are looking for - the one we found died in about a week. So we will do our own thing.

This should be a great wine at RRP $32-35 (on sale at New World this week at around $29). This a high price for New Zealand Chardonnay.

Clearly this was a challenging season - sugar levels being allowed to over ripen to compensate for high acids is a sign of a colder season in NZ wines. There may be some stress factors in this wine also - were there some frosts?? It reminds us of a lot of the Martinborough wines from 2006 that we have tasted because of the same fault - too much alcohol. This was is declared at 14% (which we think is too high for a top notch Chardonnay). But we suspect it could be even higher. The wine is totally dominated by this factor. In the mouth it is far too hot, and it also dominates the nose. What a shame as there are some nice fruit flavours in there, stone fruit with a hint of butterscotch. The oak is quite pronounced suggesting that there was plenty of new oak thrown at this wine. A bit of a waste really....