Growing Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Chief Winemaker: Matt Thomson
I was first introduced to Lake Chalice Wines over 25 years ago, and even though Lake Chalice Wines now has a new owner. Those who have enjoyed these vibrant, fruit driven wines from this founding Marlborough winery. The good news is that the consistent guiding influence on the style and quality of Lake Chalice is still crafting these wines - with renowned winemaker Matt Thomson remaining at the helm.
The fruit for this 2015 ‘Raptor’ Chardonnay was sourced solely from longtime friends Peter and Ann Reed’s vineyard, which is situated in the Wairau Valley near Renwick in Marlborough.
This wine is as with previous vintages is a mix of Chardonnay clones, with the predominant portion made up of clone 95 with some Mendoza and clone 15. The carefully selected fruit was all hand-picked in March with a vibrant flavour profile.
On arrival at the winery the fruit was crushed and underwent a light whole bunch pressing. The juice was then transferred into oak barrels for fermentation in a mix of new and one-year-old French Sylvain and Francois Frere oak barriques. With a portion allowed to undergo a wild ferment, without being inoculated with cultured yeasts. This vintage again like previous ‘Raptor’ Chardonnays underwent a full malolactic secondary fermentation, followed by 9 months maturing on its own lees in barrel for further palate development. The final wine is a blend from 15 specifically selected barrels out of a total of 48 available to Matt and his team.
As you pour into your generous glass, you will be greeted by a pale, gold colour with an inviting glow. On the nose your senses will be aroused by lifted notes or ripe white fleshed nectarine, honeycomb, hazelnuts and entwined toasty notes with underlying touches of spice.
This is an engaging Chardonnay with all those aromas transforming themselves into generous flavours on the plate. The vibrant white fleshed nectarine, peaches, wild honeycomb and complementary mild mixed nuts, and dried spice characters expressing the respectful time in French oak. The wine has natural fruit acidity resulting in an elegant palate, balancing well with the soft creamy layer which leads to a rounded lingering dry finish.
This 2015 Lake Chalice ‘Raptor’ Marlborough Chardonnay has 13.5% Alc. Chill gently and serve in a generous glass at 8-10°C.
A balanced, barrel fermented Marlborough Chardonnay with character.
Drinking well this coming season; and will develop nicely over the coming 3-4 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine with bbq'd or roasted white meats, thin-crust smoked seafood pie, creamy white meat pasta dishes, nicely seasoned vegetarian cuisine and aged creamy cheeses - enjoy.