18/20 | Raymond Chan
91/100 | Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
The first Chardonnay release from iconic winemaker John Hancock and his eldest son Willy, is a welcome return from one of New Zealand's best loved and most adventurous producers. Hancock forged his considerable reputation from pioneering stints at Delegats, Morton Estate and Trinity Hill but this latest eponymous venture sees him return to the basics of small batch winemaking. Proudly sitting in the middleweight spectrum this is a thoroughlly modern Chardonnay expression with upfront creamy fruit characters balanced by a lingering crisp finish and some nutty oak complexity. Approx 30% French oak maturation gives body and depth but the focus is firmly on the pure Chardonnay fruit. It's a lovely Chablis-esque style that's made for summer enjoyment and a perfect partner for alfresco fare. Stock is limited. Snooze and you'll lose.
Raymond Chan writes "This is an elegantly concentrated and rich-fruited Chardonnay with citrus and stonefruit flavours supported by a harmonious layering of spicy and nutty oak on a fine and fresh palate. Serve with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 3+ years."
Sam Kim writes "Attractively fruited and inviting, the bouquet shows ripe stone fruit, rockmelon, vanilla, nougat and cashew characters, leading to a succulent palate that is beautifully rounded and creamy. The wine offers lovely fruit vibrancy and purity together with elegant oak complexity, finishing long and appealing. At its best: now to 2021."