18/20 | Raymond Chan
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.