zephyr ‘Marlborough’ Chardonnay 2017
Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Marlborough - New Zealand
Owner / Winemaker: Ben Glover
Zephyr wines may be relatively new for some - but these varietal approachable wines express both the spirit of the Glover family and the estate vineyards from which there are sourced. The Glover family vineyards were first planted in 1985 alongside the meandering Opawa River. Their viticultural and winemaking philosophy's embrace the strengths of their natural resources. Proudly showcasing cool climate characters, along with palate depth and texture.
Ben is one of the most talented and respected winemakers in the country. Along with over 18 years of experience as a national and international wine judge, is a testimony to his dedication to quality wine - both as a winemaker and as an appreciative wine drinker.
The name ‘zephyr’ characterises the prevailing local winds which complement Marlborough’s unique ripening conditions, producing lively aromatic fruit off their family owned vineyards. Ben is well regarded as an aromatic specialist, but this Chardonnay showcases he is far from a one trick entertainer, producing an engaging wine with real typicity.
This wine is sourced from 23 year old vines on a single vineyard called Kerseley Estate, which is located on Dillon’s Point east of Blenheim. The vineyard has a north facing aspect and is an early ripening sub-region as it is sheltered from the harsh southerly zephyr. It is a blend of two clones of Chardonnay, predominantly a French clone 95 and a supporting role from Mendoza. All of the fruit was handpicked, and on arrival into the winery was whole bunch pressed into oak barrels, where the juice underwent a partial wild ferment. Then around 40% went through malolactic fermentation and then allowed to develop in oak for 10 months in a mix of 15-20% new barrels. There is a good balance and nicely infused core of vibrant pip and stone fruits and oak resulting in a nice texture and length to the palate.
As you pour this wine into your glass, you will be greeted by a straw colour with a bright hue. On the nose you have an engaging mix of crisp apples, citrus and subtle spice note from the time in oak. The wine has combined well with the thoughtful use of oak, balanced by modest amount of malolactic fermentation, with the intention to retain natural vibrancy and express the unique terroir from the Dillon's Point vines. The palate is deceptively generous, surprising and rewarding your senses with textural apple flavours, almonds, entwined savoury oak spice giving the wine good palate structure and a fine texture and all kept lifted and vibrant from natural fruit acidity. The palate is perfectly in balance and with a clean dry finish.
This 2017 zephyr ‘Marlborough’ Chardonnay has 13.5% Alc./vol. Chill gently and serve in a generous white wine glass at 8-10°C.
An engaging, oaked Marlborough Chardonnay with a depth of character.
Drinking perfectly well this season; plus, will develop further and reward for another 3-4 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with stuffed crab, grilled or roasted chicken or turkey, pork-cutlets with apple sauce, pumpkin ravioli, and mild creamy cheeses - enjoy.