Lake Chalice ‘Raptor’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2018
Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Wairau Valley, Marlborough - New Zealand
Head Winemaker: Chloe Gabrielsen
I have been enjoying Lake Chalice wines for near 30 years, and even though the ‘brand’ has had a new owner since the middle 2016. Those who have appreciated these vibrant, fruit forward wines from this founding Marlborough winery, can still do so. Their ever so consistent wines now have the guiding influence of Chloe and a talent team and are continuing to craft well balanced, early drinking wines - like this dynamic Chardonnay and remaining at the top of its game as a quality expression.
The fruit for this wine was exclusively sourced from longtime friends Peter and Ann Reed’s vineyard which is situated in the Wairau Valley near Renwick in Marlborough. This wine as with previous vintages is a mix of Chardonnay clones, with the predominant portion made up of clone 95, along with some Mendoza and clone 15.
The grapes were 100% hand-picked in April, and the fruit parcels on arrival into the winery underwent whole-bunch pressing for added complexity. The juice was then promptly transferred into oak barrels for fermentation in a mix of new and one-year-old French Sylvain and Francois Frere oak barriques. With 100% of the juice encouraged to undergo a wild ferment, without being inoculated with cultured yeasts. This vintage again like previous ‘Raptor’ Chardonnays underwent a full malolactic secondary fermentation resulting in a balanced richness to the mid-palate. Which was followed by 10 months maturing on its own lees in barrel for further layering of those palate flavours. The final wine is a blend from specifically selected barrels that made the grade, in line with its lineage and then was bottled in March 2019.
In your glass you will be greeted by a straw colour and a shimmering hue. On the appealing nose, you have alluring layers showcasing aromas of ripe stone-fruits, manuka honey, with subtle citrus & biscuit notes. The palate is engaging and deftly generous, with ripe juicy peaches, green-melon and rockmelon threaded with balanced fruit acidity, a subtle mineral seam and all nice entwined with vanilla oak. The wine good structure and the careful winemaking has resulted in a rewarding mouth-feel with a lingering, defined dry finish.
This 2018 Lake Chalice ‘The Raptor’ Chardonnay has 13% Alc./vol - crafted in a dry style. Chill gently and serve in an appropriate wine glass at 9-10°C.
A barrel fermented Marlborough Chardonnay with a lineage of quality.
Drinking well this coming season; plus, will develop well for another 3-4 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with roast pork with crackling, chicken or turkey, served with slow cooked earthy vegetables, and aged creamy cheeses on crusty bread - enjoy.