I’m sure the team at New Zealand’s Martinborough Vineyards were thrilled when their Martinborough Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 was recently named “Top wine of the Tasting” in Decanter’s Magazine’s blind tasting of “The best Chardonnays in the world (outside Burgundy).” It topped a very competitive field – 80 of the finest chardonnays from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. The Best Chardonnays in the world (outside Burgundy) by Stephen Brook, Decanter Magazine, March 2015
New Zealand has a long established reputation for world class pinot noir, but chardonnay is starting to steal the limelight.
Interestingly, some of the best chardonnay in New Zealand can be found off the beaten track, so to speak. The Wine Advocate’s Lisa Perrotti-Brown recently raved about the Brajkovich family’s Kumeu River chardonnays, remarking that they “continue to be amongst a handful of the very best, world-class Chardonnays coming out of New Zealand, demonstrating great finesse and terroir expression as well as ageing potential.” (New Zealand: The Others by Lisa Perrotti-Brown, 30 December 2014)
One of New Zealand’s oldest wineries, Kumeu River is situated north of Auckland, about as far away as you can get from the two big wine making wine regions of Marlborough and Central Otago on the South Island.
Waikari or North Canterbury (as it’s formally known) on the South Island is New Zealand’s newest and most remote wine region. It is another area with a unique terroir that is proving ideal for growing chardonnay.
Waikari’s Bell Hill Chardonnay 2011, for example, was one of 10 wines voted “Outstanding” by the Decanter Magazine’s blind tasting panel. Perotti-Brown believes that for “anyone looking to try the very best that New Zealand has to offer – wines that sit shoulder to shoulder with some of the best examples of these grapes from anywhere in the world – it’s well worth tracking down Bell Hill.”
Bell Hill is a biodynamic, family-run vineyard set on a bell-shaped hill that was once a limestone quarry… [Read More]