Matawhero ‘Irwin’ Gisborne Chardonnay 2017
Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Gisborne - New Zealand
Owners: Kirsten & Richard Searle
5 Stars ★★★★★
The 2nd released of this premium quality Chardonnay of outstanding pedigree. From a testing vintage in Gisborne, ideal ripeness has enabled the winemaking team to handcraft this limited edition barrel fermented Chardonnay. This flagship ‘Irwin’ Chardonnay is a tribute to the late Bill Irwin and his son Denis (pictured above), the founders of Matawhero Wines. Bill is considered the father of modern viticulture in New Zealand.
He imported new varietals including this Mendoza Chardonnay into New Zealand back in the late 1960's. Bill was also corresponding with viticultural experts in Europe, Australia and the States and was responsible for the importation of virus-free rootstock into New Zealand. Which gave vineyards of the 1970’s and the wine industry, a strong base which to flourish from.
The fruit was harvested from the famous Tietjen vineyard situated on the ‘Golden Slopes’ - in the cool of the morning, which had achieved superb ripeness after a testing season in Gisborne. The grapes (100% Mendoza Chardonnay) were gently pressed and slightly clarified prior to fermentation. The juice was then inoculated with an indigenous yeast from the vineyard using a technique called Pied du Cuvé. They pick a small parcel of grapes and crush them prior to the main harvest, allowing them to ferment on their skins. They are then added back into the juice to ferment the full parcel. This gives a ‘true sense of place’ of the vineyard and provides layers of complexity and a palate texture. Fermentation was in a mix of American and Hungarian oak barriques (with 30% being new) which gave a perfect integration of oak character and a full 100% malolactic fermentation has added palate richness and length. The wine was ‘sur lie’ for 10 months before being fined and bottled.
• In the glass you will be greeted by a pale gold colour and a shining hue. On the nose you are invited in by ripe stone fruits, white floral and subtle toasty brioche notes. On the generous palate this Gisborne Chardonnay expresses ripe and engaging peaches and rockmelon flavours, entwined with creamy hazelnut and vanilla notes resulting in a smooth texture. A complex and confident style of Chardonnay with finely entwined oak-spice, perfectly balanced by elevated natural fruit acidity on a lingering dry finish.
This 2017 Matawhero ‘Irwin’ Gisborne Chardonnay has 14.1% Alc./vol. Dry Style. Chill gently and serve in an appropriately shaped wine glass at 9°- 11°C.
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 7/3/2020)
Drinking perfectly well this season; and will mature well for another 3 - 4 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with roasted, grilled or bbq’d chicken, turkey, pork & crackling, creamy pasta dishes, rich vegetarian cuisine and aged rich creamy cheeses - enjoy.