97 POINTS | David Walker Bell, WineFolio "Would rank among the best of any New Zealand wines."
Tiratore (to-ra-tó-re) comes from the Italian word for hunter/marksman. It pays homage to the bullet cases found on the La Collina vineyard where a shooting range once operated. With a team like Warren Gibson and Lorraine Leheney driving Tiratore's development, this flagship label will always be one to watch and this 2019 release is looking exceptional.
The fruit is 100% hand-picked, whole bunch pressed to French oak puncheons and barriques for fermentation. Indigenous yeast carried the ferment to dryness. The wine spent 11 months in oak prior to bottling; there was no fining or cold stabilisation. There were no additives other than sulphur.
It has a complex nose with flinty / smokey hints overlaying regional stonefruits. On the palate this is a elegant, refined chardonnay with exceptional drive. There is plenty of soft acidity, some flinty notes and a subtle creaminess. The finish is impeccable; fresh and zingy and seemingly endless.
This limited release wine is already attractive but it would be unfair not to wait a few years to see it blossom further. Our tasting team thought it was outstanding. Bravo.
The winery writes "It has always been our plan to produce a flagship Chardonnay from the la collinavineyard, reflecting the variety and thevineyard site rather than the winemaking. With full fruit and complexity and just a touch of flint, the palate is tight with hints of salinity and wet stone. With time it will open up to rich, nutty, hazelnut and almond flavours. This wine is ready to drink on release and will continue to develop positively for 6 –8 years."
David Walker Bell, WineFolio, writes "Rich and intense, but with a drive of acidity that is pure linear energy. Complex, and develops beautifully on opening – I'd surely decant this. Plenty of vanilla oak influence – strudel, nougat and baking spices. A deliciously silky mouthfeel – unctuous yet with a stony minerality underneath. A floral, spiciness develops in the mile-long, sweetening finish. 97pts. Would rank among the best of any New Zealand wines."