95 POINTS 'Outstanding' | Cameron Douglas MS "A lovely expression, finely tuned and well made."
Zaria are a boutique Hawke's Bay producer with winemaker Bryce Edmonds at the helm. They take a minimal intervention approach to winemaking and their latest releases are vibrant, flavour-packed renditions of classic Hawke's Bay wines.
Their 2021 chardonnay is vinted from a mix of Bridge Pa fruit from their Lesley's Vineyard block, along with fruit from the Ohiti and Te Awanga sub regions. It was 100% hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed, with all of the juice going into barrels (20% new) for fermentation. Stonefruit and citrus notes dominate the palate, with secondary brioche characters playing a supporting role. The new oak makes an appearance, but it doesn't take over. Drinking well now but give it a few years in the cellar and those characters will develop further. Highly recommended.
Cameron Douglas MS writes "Pure, ripe, varietal, fruity and pristine bouquet. Aromas and flavours of white peach and apple, white flowers and fine oak complexity. Oak layers in fine tannins which the fruits soaks up easily. Some barrel spices, grapefruit, peach and vanilla then brazil nut and mineral. A silky touch with contrasting acidity and fine tannins. A lovely expression, finely tuned and well made. Best drinking from 2023 through 2027+."
The winery writes "The idea was to have a little bit of all the yummy things that make Chardonnay great. Plenty of grapefruit, melon and citrus, along with a little of the brioche/buttery component from the secondary ferment. Enough new oak to bring texture without bashing you over the head with a 2x4 plank. Time will reward this wine as all these components meld together."
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