Chardonnay can get a little overlooked in the ocean of New Zealand Sauvignon which is a shame when it comes up with great examples like this super-complex, rich and toasty dry white from Kevin Judd, which shows opulent peach and butterscotch notes with underlying, barrel-fermented struck match characters in a New Zealand-meets-Puligny Montrachet style.
Superb Chardonnay... Floral, honeyed exotic nose, ripe citrussy flavours, very long, seductively impressive.
This is arguably the best Chardonnay he‘s made yet at his new venture, a minerally, citrus-tinged white with deftly interwoven oak and flavours of oatmeal and honey. Very classy.
Wine of the Week
It has now been in bottle just over a year and has those delicious struck-match characteristics derived from ‘prior reduction‘ (ie the wine is not reduced now but did go through reductive phases in barrel, creating certain sulphur-related compounds) entwined with full-flavoured, pure citrus fruit - not just lemon but also zesty clementine. It has a wonderful creamy, mealy texture and aroma. This may sound like other top-quality barrel-fermented Chardonnays from around the world but what really marks this out is the terrific freshness that shines vibrantly through all the complex and full flavours.
Chardonnay of the Year
Kevin Judd is deservedly renowned for his Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, but deserves at least as many accolades for this complex, concentrated, fine-boned Chardonnay.
The bouquet is dominated by smoky matchstick sulfides, underneath which there’s rich, ripe grapefruit flavour. The fruit wins, especially on palate. It’s full in the mouth yet retains tightness of structure, backbone and elegance. A generous wine that holds its balance well.