John Hawkesby

John Hawkesby is a wine writer for Canvas Magazine.

Best of winter white wine

The best winter white wine is chardonnay because of its flavour, weight, texture and subtlety. It's great with white meats, pasta and a natural with chicken, especially when roasted. Look at these fine examples.


Spade Oak Voysey Series Chardonnay - 2013
Montana's former head winemaker in Gisborne, Steve Voysey, is now doing his own thing at Spade Oak. Chardonnay put Gisborne on the New Zealand wine map and this wine is a reminder why. It delivers at a most reasonable price, with plenty of classic chardonnay character, layered citrus flavours with savoury hints and nutty oak characters with a seamless long finish. This is a biggish wine but not overburdened with alcohol.
$18.50

Odyssey Reserve Iliad Chardonnay - 2012
Another Gisborne producer specialising in boutique single vineyard wines. Elegant, concentrated and a fine drop from winemaker Rebecca Salmond, this chardonnay has wonderful balance, huge intensity and loads of up-front flavour. Cellared correctly, it will age gracefully for years to come. Flavours of white peach, fig and melon.
$37

Black Estate Chardonnay - 2012
From Waipara, this is a lavish, lush and a wonderfully constructed wine. Gently hand-harvested, there is equal care taken in the winery as there is in the vineyard. This wine has superb weight with a mineral texture and refreshing white peach, hazelnut and citrus flavours.
$42

Available at heraldwine.co.nz for a limited time, courtesy of Glengarry and GrabOne Bottle.


- NZ Herald

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