96+ Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown (erobertparker.com) "The 2014 Chardonnay Estate Vineyard reveals very pretty notes of peach blossoms and candied ginger over a core of nectarines, acacia honey, baking bread and marzipan. Medium-bodied with a silken texture and wonderful intensity of yeasty/savory flavors, it has a great frame of freshness and epic length. A beautiful, truly elegant style. "
95 Points - William Kelley (robertparker.com) "From one of the oldest vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley, Paul Lato’s superb 2016 Chardonnay le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard reveals attractive aromas of yellow orchard fruit, citrus zest, peach and honeycomb. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with more textural glossiness than the Belle de Jour, underpinned by bright acids and concluding with an intense, chalky finish. This is quite structurally tight-knit right now and will need a couple of years in the cellar to blossom."
95-97 Points - Robert Parker "The 2014 Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate exhibits more gravelly, wet pebble notes and loads of uplifted aromatics, including peach, pineapple, orange rind and lemon blossom. It is again a complex style of Chardonnay made from a cold microclimate."
95 Points - Campbell Mattinson, The Winefront "This is swish. Straw-yellow in colour, stone fruit riddled, shy on the nose but textural and alive on the palate. A gentle creaminess, spice notes, slate even, honeysuckle and toast. Extremely pure. Flowing robes of flavour. Grapefruit-like bite to the aftertaste, as a distinct positive. It’s still gathering itself but already it’s a treat to drink. A beautiful, beautiful wine."
97 Points - Stuart McCloskey “Reductive with aromas still very much in development. That said, this impeccably made wine is centred around textural elegance, satiny structure, mid-palate depth and an effortless sense of cohesion. Decanting for a short while is essential as the oxygenation takes it from the ordinary to immensely appealing. Layer upon layer of fruit and white flowers harmonises beautifully with oatmeal and a beautiful vein of minerality. This is more tensile, finer than many, which adds an intellectual quality found with high-quality Burgundy. This is a superb Chardonnay from one of New Zealand's leading producers. I recommend a drinking window from now to 2025 but would not be surprised to this peak beyond 10 years.. Sampled in Zalto Bordeaux glassware and comes highly recommended”.
Exclusive to The Vinorium
94 Points - James Halliday
Handpicked Dijon clones 95 and 96 from a single vineyard at Karridale, whole bunch-pressed, wild fermentation and 11 months maturation in French barriques (20% new), plus 30 months in bottle. 360 dozen made. Trembles on the brink of unripeness, but is pulled back by the complexity built into the wine. Will always be Corton or Chablis, not Meursault or Montrachet.
Cuvée Nicolas François is made from solely Grand Cru fruit sourced from the classified Côte des Blancs vineyards (Chardonnay) and the Montagne de Reims (Pinot Noir). Its vinification, partially in traditional oak casks, underpins the generous character of this fine, elegant and rich wine. The balance of a tension controlled by the blossoming of the wine (preserved peaches, fine apple tart and lemon verbana tea) and embodied by the line of noble flavours (fresh figs and exceptional teas). It maintains a consistency reflecting a distinct personality and retains a power controlled by a well integrated low dosage.
94 Points - Bob Campbell "The first Bilancia Chardonnay I have tasted. Fruit from La Collina vineyard and Bridge Pa Triangle. Indigenous yeast and 15 months in oak without fining or cold stabilisation. Attractive, elegant chardonnay with tight citrus, mineral, struck flint and savoury yeast lees and spicy oak flavours. A classy chardonnay with development potential."
95 Points - Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front "From a high density planting of chardonnay on an exposed cote at Geelong. It’s so settled and so pure. It pleases from the outset and all the way along the line but it really sparks up as it passes through the finish. Grapefruit, white peach, lime spider and a mass of crackly spice notes. It’s not a showy wine, it has no need to be, but it’s not low key either. It’s like old money in that sense; it’s not gaudy but it still tastes rich."