Matua Valley Gisborne Chardonnay 2011 – $
In 1969 Bill and Ross Spence planted the first sauvignon blanc grapes in New Zealand. In 1974 they founded Matua Valley and produced our first sauvignon blanc wine. In 2001 the business was bought by the wine division of Foster’s, which later de-merged and is now Treasury Wine Estates. Penfolds is its premium brand.
This bottle contains chardonnay juice from Gisborne. I was attracted by the lovely colour of the label, and the very low promotional price. Also, Matua produce an absolute cracker reserve syrah that I love, so they must know what they are about.
I like it. On attack it is well-balanced, fresh and sweet. The colour is bright silver gold. It’s light and elegant, with ripe pears and a little smokiness; and mineral austerity. A bargain really. Other chards in this price range and from the same side of the island don’t show the same restraint. Is it reflecting the rain and cold that the region experienced last year? I was up there then holidaying and visiting vineyards such as Millton, Kirkpatrick and Brunton Road, and it was damn chilly.
Good winemaking. Enjoyed with green-lipped mussels.