2017 Matt Connell "Lowburn" Chardonnay Central Otago

SKU #1436043 95 points Bob Campbell

 Aromatic Chardonnay, with appealing toasted nut, chalky mineral, white peach, citrus and spicy oak flavours. Very elegant and integrated wine. Silken-smooth texture and a lingering finish. A classy wine that should develop well.  (9/2018)

94 points Sam Kim

 Beautifully styled and elegantly complex, the engaging bouquet shows nectarine, nougat, lemon peel, vanilla and hazelnut characters, leading to a concentrated palate that is wonderfully weighted and expansive. The wine offers terrific fruit purity together with stylish oak nuances, backed by creamy texture and bright acidity, finishing superbly long and delectable. At its best: now to 2022.  (9/2018)

K&L Notes

Hand harvested and whole bunch pressed Chardonnay grapes were fermented in French oak (10% new) utilizing native and selected yeasts. Complete malolactic fermentation. Aged on the lees. From the winery: "Pineapple and caramel notes on the nose leads into upfront fruit intensity that builds and lingers on the palate. A wine is rich with fine acidity and a lingering finish."

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Price: $29.99

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.