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Featured Reviews

Charles Wiffen Marlborough Chardonnay 2015

28 July,2017
Chardonnay is, along with the aromatic whites, the success story of Charles Wiffen Wines. The basis of the quality and style of the wine are the established Mendoza and 15 clone vines and the meticulous viticulture. The wine is made by James Rowan and Anthony Ivicevich at the West Brook winery in Waimauku in West Auckland. In return, West Brook are able to access a supply of the Wiffen fruit for their own label. It’s an arrangement that has served both parties extremely well for several years, as the Marlborough-fruited wines under both brands have been awarded many gold medals and trophies.

Winemaker James Rowan thinks it important that the Charles Wiffen wines to express their Marlborough heritage and terroir, and I assume that although the same fruit componentry makes the West Brook Marlborough and Charles Wiffen wines, the fruit for the Wiffen bottlings is handled even more sensitively to ensure that provenance prevails over the winemakers’ hands. Nevertheless, both the West Brook Marlborough and Charles Wiffen Chardonnays are successes. Here, I review the new release 2015 Charles Wiffen Marlborough Chardonnay.


Charles Wiffen Marlborough Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Marlborough

Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, paler on the rim. The nose is fresh with softly packed and concentrated aromas of white stonefruits and citrus fruits alongside mealy, and nutty lees and oak notes, with subtle, savoury, creamy barrel-ferment elements. The aromatics shoe detail and complexing interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a vibrant and concentrated core with layers of stonefruit and mealy flavours, entwined with nutty lees and oak detail. The palate has good presence and depth, with balanced, integrated acidity. The flavours flow along a very fine-textured line, leading to an elegant, long, lingering finish. This is a vibrant and well-integrated and concentrated Chardonnay with complex layers of detail and elegant finish. Match with poultry and pork over the next 4-5 years. Mendoza and clone 15 fruit from two sites in the ‘Charles Wiffen’ vineyards, Southern Valleys, fully barrel-fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 24% new French oak barriques, undergoing batonnage with a small MLF converted component. 18.5-/20 Jul 2017 RRP $24.55

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

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