Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
Chief Winemaker: Matt Thomson

I enjoy introducing and sharing well made, interesting wines with wine enthusiasts - along with taking opportunities like this, to remind those in the know about wines we should not forget or worse disregard. I am referring to quality crafted barrel fermented Chardonnay wines made in Marlborough, New Zealand - and the team at Lake Chalice definitely have more than one string to their impressive bow.


The fruit for this 2014 ‘Raptor’ Chardonnay was sourced solely from long time friends Peter and Ann Reed’s vineyard - which is located in the Wairau Valley near Renwick. This Chardonnay is a mix of clones, though predominately made up of clone 95 with some Mendoza and clone 15. Also the fruit for this wine was all hand-picked in March with a dynamic flavour profile.
Arriving in the winery the fruit was crushed and underwent a light whole bunch pressing. The juice was then transferred into barrel for fermentation in a mix of new and one year old French oak barrels. With a portion allowed to ‘wild ferment’ without being inoculated with cultured yeasts. This vintage also underwent a full malolactic secondary fermentation, which was then followed by 9 months maturing on light lees in barrel for further palate development. For those interested in oak barrels, they used a mix of French barrel makers which included the Sylvain and François Frères cooperages.
As you pour this wine, you will have a bright, straw-gold colour fill your glass. This wine has already developed an inviting bouquet of stone-fruits and integrated spicy French toast notes. Even though this wine has a modest 13% alcohol - the palate is full and engaging with concentrated flavours of white peach, nectarine, lifted toasty oak characters and an underlying seam of spice. This small parcel Chardonnay also has a creamy, broad mouth-feel along with well balanced natural acidity giving elegance to the palate and leading you to a pleasingly long finish. Cool decant for 15-20 minutes and serve at 9-11ºC. 

A vibrant, full flavoured, barrel fermented Chardonnay.

Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and will develop nicely for another 3-4 years. 

Perfect wine pairing with roast pork, lamb, chicken or turkey, served with soft textured vegetables, or seafood chowders and soft, creamy cheeses on crusty bread, enjoy.