2013 Church Road Chardonnay

imageBuild me up buttercup Chardonnay from Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. It could really be from anyway though. Lots of winemaking input, generic fruit profile. And exactly the sort of expression that many consumers wished was back in vogue.

Loads of biscuity oak, toasted nuts and peachy fruit. Buttery on the tongue with woodspice through the finish. Has a pretty good line of acid but the flavour is all through the belly. It peters out quickly. The fact that I find it simple and uninteresting shouldn’t put others off. And if you like the style you’ll no doubt score it higher. 87

Region: Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Alcohol: 13.5%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $25.99
Tasted: May 2014


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3 Responses to 2013 Church Road Chardonnay

  1. Good review.

    I’m a big supporter of the existence of old school as opposed to old fashioned Chardonnay, but this one veers a little too close to the latter.

    The big ‘n buttery customer, which despite some industry pronouncements is still the largest volume Chardonnay customer in this country by miles and will be for quite some time to come, can be easily misunderstood. They don’t want fat wines wearing clothes a size and a half too big. They want wines with clever use of work to make a toasty, buttery, creamy very rich Chard. But the ones they take to the most and will support will also have an underlying acidity and balanced structure that refuses to be fat. Think Pierro or Te Mata Elston.

    The shame is, an industry insider tastes this Church Road, then goes and lampoons the old school set. I would too if their desires were based on this wine and its look-alikes. They aren’t.

    • Last Pierro I tasted (2011) impressed me. I’d be more than happy to drink it if it were poured for me. I’d enjoy it.

      The situation ‘we’ find ourselves in is a shame. I’m not a relativist and I don’t think much of this wine but I wouldn’t like to see a vinous world deprived of successful expressions of this style.

      • Beautifully said. On a couple of forums you and I may inhabit, very popular tastes are lampooned by some contributors not merely for being common, but derided as being completely illegitimate, or requiring ignorance.

        The real ignorance comes from choosing a set path to suit oneself in the belief every man must follow it.

        I’m glad that when I pass one cafe to walk into another, I don’t have the thought front of mind to wish a Darwinian inspired bomb strike upon all its inhabitants for choosing to drink what I believe to be less enjoyable coffee. They like something about it, or the place. Ergo, they are as individual as I am. And I wish upon them the same freedom to enjoy their chosen product that I exercise in choosing mine. For if they lose their choice, so do I.

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