Lake Chalice ‘Raptor’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2019
Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Wairau Valley, Marlborough - New Zealand
Head Winemaker: Chloe Gabrielsen
5 Stars ★★★★★
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 talented team continuing to craft well balanced, dynamic wines - like this detailed Chardonnay and remaining at the top of its game as a quality expression.
The primary source of fruit for this wine comes from 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 on arrival into the winery the fruit parcels underwent whole-bunch pressing for added complexity. The juice was then promptly pressed off into oak barrels for fermentation in a mix of new and one-year-old French 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 on its own terms, resulting in a balanced richness to the mid-palate. For around 10 months the wine matured on its own lees in barrel for further palate and flavour development. The final wine is a blend from specifically selected barrels that made the grade, in line with its lineage.
• In your glass you will be greeted by a straw golden colour with a shinning hue. An enticing aroma alludes to the multiple of layers showcasing ripe stone-fruits, honey-comb, along with citrus & almond biscuit notes. The comprehensive palate is engaging and ever so appealing, with fleshy peaches, ripe melon, pineapple, uplifting fruit acidity, a deft mineral seam and nicely infused with vanilla oak. The wine has an elegance to its structure, perfectly dovetailing quality fruit and winemaking has resulted in a rewarding wine with a seamless dry finish.
This 2019 Lake Chalice ‘The Raptor’ Chardonnay has 13.5% Alc./vol - crafted in a dry style. Chill gently and serve in an appropriate wine glass at 9° - 10°C.
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 13/9/2020)
Drinking well this coming season; plus, will develop nicely for another 2 - 3 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with roast pork with crackling, chicken on a gruyère mash, served with slow cooked earthy vegetables, and aged creamy cheeses on crusty bread - enjoy.