- New Zealand
- ABV 13.5
- Zalto Denk'Art Bordeaux Glass
Stuart McCloskey "Only made eight times (2005 to 2019) which demonstrates the serious nature and selection behind Virtuoso. Essentially, it is a selection from the best barrels, coming from some of the oldest plantings in their vineyard. Traditional Burgundian winemaking methods are used - the fruit is hand-picked in stages during late March and earl April and then gently pressed. The non-clarified juice was transferred to large French oak barrels, 40% of which were new to achieve optimal oak balance. Post primary fermentation (by the grape’s natural yeasts) the wine was then matured in the puncheons on its natural deposits of yeast lees (sur lie). In the summer after harvest, it started to go through spontaneous secondary (malolactic) fermentation.
Et voilà – We are presented with one of the very best New Zealand Chardonnays that continues not to shy away from a full throttle experience, which I personally love (as long as there’s balance).
Glorious colour – golden ginkgo leaves and raw honey. The bouquet is a towering goliath that explodes from the glass with popcorn, bacon fat, lanolin, confit lemon, orange blossom, wood smoke, warmed oyster shell, a melange of ripe orchard fruits, raw honey, spice, white pepper – I genuinely could go on… One’s palate is hit by a tsunami of intensity. Lots of richness and wonderful mouthcoating viscosity yet, the levels of acidity match and provide perfect balance. The flavours drench the palate – every facet is coated with ripe deliciousness. Unctuous and moreish it is – golden orchard fruits, raw honey straight from the hive, the Yin and Yang from confit lemon and minerality adds another layer of brilliance. I could happily spend 24-hours with this wine and write a one-thousand word tasting note (there’s a challenge). It’s truly the Brigitte Nielsen of Chardonnay… served using Zalto Burgundy glassware. Drink now to 2030 and I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I did."
98 Points - James Suckling “Fantastic aromas of ripe apple, smoke, flint and stone. Sandalwood as well. Full-bodied and very reductive with dry ice to the ripe and dried apple character. Dense and very layered, yet fresh and vivid. So long and intense. Great finish. Drink now”
19/20 Points – Raymond Chan “Bright, pale yellow with a gold hue, even colour throughout. This has a full and compelling bouquet with softened aromas of roasted cashew, acacia, black sesame, flint and spice, interwoven stonefruit and grapefruit. The wine is full-bodied with softness and elegance; aromas of nectarines, apple and grapefruit entwined with roasted cashew, black sesame, flint, acacia and delicate spice. The wine is integrated harmoniously, with softened nutty aromas and flint added strength and maturity; lacy acidity brought energy and freshness to the multi-layered palate. This Chardonnay is harmonious with a complex range of flavours, balance and strength. Match with hazelnut-crusted grouper and crayfish Thermidor over the next 6-8 years. Handpicked, foot-trotted, the non-clarified juice fermented in large French oak barrels (puncheons), 40% new oak, wild fermented to 13.5% alc, aged in puncheons on lees for 12 months, underwent MLF.”
Pegasus Bay Virtuoso Chardonnay 2019
Waipara, New Zealand
Due to its protection from cool, Pacific breezes from the east by the Treviotdale Range and it’s gravel soils with large, heat radiating stone, Waipara has an unusually long ripening period with warm days and cool nights. These conditions promote a high level of ripening, with grapes that are intensely flavoured.
Pegasus Bay have a strong belief in minimal intervention and sustainable vineyard practices and is an accredited member of the NZWG sustainable viticulture program, employing completely natural methods of disease and pest control and clarify their wines by natural settling. Awarded the highest 5 star “outstanding” rating by Robert Parker and considered by Neal Martin as “one of New Zealand’s best producers” they have received countless praise and high ratings by the critics.
Their Chardonnay is produced using traditional Burgundian winemaking methods, fermented in large oak puncheons, 70% of which are old so as not to impart too much oak flavour, followed by a further 12 month maturation. Their estate
Pinot Noir is produced from various blocks that were harvested at different times to give varied fruit profile which are individually fermented and matured separately for 22 months in 40% new oak barriques made by Burgundian coopers.
The Prima Donna is only made in exceptional years from the best barrels of the oldest vines. They also produce sensational Riesling, the Bel Canto Riesling is produced from bunches that have been affected by at least 30% Botrytis which maxi... mises the intensity of flavour and concentration.
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