New wine reviews in Drinks Biz Magazine

Yes way Chardonnay! We are proud to share new wine reviews and scores from New Zealand's trade industry bible, Drinks Biz Magazine.

Chardonnay from New Zealand, and from Marlborough in particular is gaining an international reputation as being high quality, expressive, and offering fantastic value for money for lovers of much more expensive white Burgundy from France, or California and Napa Valley Chards.  

Drinks Biz NZ Magazine wine critic Joelle Thomson recently released her report on Chardonnay wines, and we were delighted to see some great feedback and notes for our 2018 Chardonnays, and our 2017 Reserve Collection Chardonnay.

Our winemaker Sam Bennett, was featured in the UK trade publication Drinks Business back in 2018, talking about the rise in popularity and quality of Chardonnay from this country: “New Zealand Chardonnay is going from strength to strength. There are excellent examples coming out of all the major wine regions of the country that can confidently stand up to the best examples in the world,” he says. Click here to read the full feature. 

Check out the highlights and scores below, and head over to the Drinks Biz website to read the expanded Chardonnay report. 

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Pa Road 2018 Chardonnay (17.5/20) 

"Talk about a good value Chardonnay. This big brand produces extremely consistent wines and this one has bright, fresh citrusy fruit and a creamy finish." 

Koha 2018 Chardonnay (17/20)

"Fresh, medium-bodied, crisp and bright young wine, with fruit forward flavours and light notes of creaminess."

te Pa 2018 Chardonnay (17.5/20)

"Vibrant, full-bodied wine. It offers very good value for money and highlights the great potential of our largest wine region to make top Chardonnay in a range of prices."

te Pa 2017 Reserve Collection 'St. Leonard's' Chardonnay (18.5/20)

"...Rich and creamy barrel ferment notes, and buttery, nutty characters. It's a complex, full-bodied, dry white that drinks well nice and will continue to age beautifully for the next seven to eight years, potentially longer."

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Our full line up is available on our online store (we're offering free NZ shipping, and we also have international shipping options available). For trade interest, please get in touch if you would like to stock any of these wines, or anything else in our range. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Chardonnay  

  • What are the best food matches for Chardonnay? The classic food pairings for oaked Chardonnay are chicken, and white fish. For unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay (like our Koha Chardonnay) you can go with more classic white wine pairings like you'd choose for Sauvignon Blanc (oysters, lighter salads, goats' cheese). Those are pretty broad recommendations though! We'd go one step further and recommend hearty white fish such as cod, and with a range of luscious shellfish, particularly lobster / crayfish, prawns / shrimp and scampi, and scallops. For chicken fans, Chardonnay is very complementary for a range of chicken dishes; think lovely sage and butter chicken, creamy sauce over baked chicken breast or thigh, or a simple poached chicken with fresh herbs. 
  • What's the ideal temperature to serve Chardonnay at? It's all well and good to say that the optimum temperature at which to serve Chardonnay is 9 degrees celsius (50 degrees F) but we think that it's more helpful to know how long you should pop your bottle in the fridge for. Generally speaking, half an hour / 30 minutes in the fridge is a great rule of thumb to get your favourite Chardy to the right temperature. It's easy to make the mistake of serving your Chardonnay too cold, which really pushes down and reduces its beautiful aromatics. 
  • What's the difference between oaked and unoaked Chardonnay?  This is a really common question, and it's one worth knowing the answer to. Chardonnay is a relatively neutral grape varietal, so it benefits from time in contact with oak. The creamy, almost buttery / nutty characteristic that die-hard Chardonnay fans love about this wine, comes from time in barrels, and from lees-stirring which creates texture and character in the wine. Some people do prefer a more lightly oaked Chard (like our Koha Chardonnay) or no oak at all - it's a matter of personal preference and taste! Unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay tends to be crisper and more refreshing in style than its oaked counterpart which is more rich and mouth-filling. Make sure you read the back label of a wine as this should give you information about its oak-influence. 
  • How long can you age / cellar / store Chardonnay? Typically speaking, you can keep Chardonnay for 2 - 3 years, if it's stored in a dark, dry, temperature regulated space. Temperature wise, a space with a constant / near constant temperature of about 12.8 degrees celsius (55 degree F) is said to be 'near perfect' for wine storage. Higher quality Chardonnay, like our Reserve Collection Chard, can happily be cellared in the same conditions for 5 - 7 years from the time of bottling. This article from the very smart minds at Wine Spectator have a great article with more tips and tricks for storing wine. Click here to have a read. 

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