Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Marlborough Chardonnay 2012
A great single-vineyard wine should take you somewhere special and this wine certainly does. Pale in the glass, it offers up aromas that are immediately compelling – lime, white pepper and fresh almonds. In the mouth the initial impression is one of nervy, flinty brashness before a lovely, faintly fleshy textural layer steps in as a calming influence. It’s a complex, tightly knit, intriguing wine, which will age well. “A fantastic example of this style,” noted John Belsham. A seafood dish with cream and a dash of brandy as part of the mix would match superbly.
Top Wine Profile
When Jeremy McKenzie discovered his chardonnay had topped our tasting, a number of his North Island Villa winemaking colleagues, including group winemaker Alastair Maling MW, just happened to be with him in Marlborough. Cue banter, plenty of it… Villa’s intra-squad regional chardonnay rivalry is becoming legendary. And while 2012 may have produced some pretty smart chardonnay in Marlborough, the North Island team would be out to reverse this result from the 2013 vintage, says Maling. “This rivalry has been there for a while. As a group, we pride ourselves on making top-class chardonnay across four regions.” McKenzie put his success down to a good vintage and the extraordinary Taylors Pass vineyard, responsible for so many top wines. A hot site in a cool area in the Awatere Valley, Taylors Pass produced beautifully elegant, pure fruit in 2012.