I was delighted to collect the chardonnay trophy for our 2011 Nautilus chardonnay at the Speiglau Wine Competiton on friday night. From 177 entries the judges (with impeccable taste I must say) found our wine top – interestingly the other 6 gold medals also went to Marlborough chardonnays. I do think quality chardonnay grown in Marlborough is underated and too often overlooked. Gone are the over oaked clumsy styles of the 90’s and a new wave of elegant, restrained but beautifully complex wines are coming from this region. We are having so much fun making chardonnay these days and we are trying harder and harder to do less and less to the wine. The less we do the better the wine seems to be. The hand picked grapes are chilled overnight and pressed directly to barrel, with no settling, for an indigenous fermentation. We allow just enough malolactic fermentation to add a layer of complexity and get the acid balance right but retain some freshness. This wine is a staff favourite & the ‘house pour’ most of us here so it was easy for all to reach for a glass to toast this great award on Friday night.
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