Grape Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Gisborne, New Zealand
Owners: Kirsten & Richard Searle

Released on the 1st of September - comes a premium quality Chardonnay of exceptional pedigree. From an ideal vintage in Gisborne, superior ripeness has enabled the winemaking team to handcraft this limited release barrel fermented Chardonnay. This flagship ‘Irwin’ Chardonnay is a tribute to the late Bill Irwin and his son Denis, the founders of Matawhero Wines. Bill is considered the father of modern viticulture in New Zealand.


He imported new grape varietals including this Mendoza Chardonnay into New Zealand back in the late 1960s. Bill was also corresponding with viticultural experts in Europe, Australia and the United States and was responsible for the importation of virus free vine root-stock into New Zealand. Which gave vineyards of the 1970s, and the country's wine industry, a strong base which to flourish from.
The fruit was harvested from the famous Tietjen vineyard situated on the ‘Golden Slopes’ - in the cool of the morning, which had achieved superb ripeness after another warm season in Gisborne. The grapes (100% Mendoza Chardonnay) were gently pressed and slightly clarified prior to fermentation. The juice was then inoculated with an indigenous yeast from the vineyard using a technique called Pied du Cuvé. They pick a small parcel of grapes and crush them prior to the main harvest, allowing them to ferment on their skins. They are then added back into the juice to ferment the full parcel. This gives a ‘true sense of place’ of the vineyard and provides layers of flavour, complexity, and a wonderful palate texture. Fermentation was in a mix of American and Hungarian oak barriques (with 30% being new) which gave a perfect integration of oak character and a full 100% malolactic fermentation has added richness and length. The wine was ‘sur lie’ (on its lees) for 10 months before being fined and bottled. The ‘Irwin’ was then aged in bottle for 6 months before its release on 1st September.
In the glass you will be greeted by a shimmering pale gold colour. On this young nose you are invited in by ripe stone fruits and a subtle white floral and toasty note. On the palate this generous Chardonnay expresses ripe and engaging peach and melon flavours, entwined with soft, creamy lemon curd notes. A generous style of Chardonnay with finely entwined oak and perfectly balanced and harmonious natural fruit acidity on a vibrant dry finish. A limited release, with only 3449 bottles.
This 2016 Matawhero ‘Irwin’ Gisborne Chardonnay has 13.4% Alc. Chill gently and serve in an appropriate shaped glass at 8-10°C. 

A premium quality Chardonnay of exceptional pedigree.

Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and will mature nicely for another 4-5 years. 

Perfect wine pairing with roasted, grilled or bbq’d chicken, turkey, pork, stuffed crab, creamy pasta dishes, rich vegetarian cuisine and aged creamy cheeses - enjoy.