Mills Reef Reserve Chardonnay 2016

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The grapes of superior budwood clones for this classical variety were sourced from a selection of vineyards in the Hawkes Bay: the low vigour, free draining alluvial loams of Maraekakaho, the sandy soils Meeanee district, and the gravelly soils of Gimblett Gravels wine growing region.

Harvested on 23rd and 24th March 2016, the fruit arrived in the winery in excellent condition at just under 22° Brix.

Each vineyard parcel was vinified separately. The juice was barrel fermented, with 40% undergoing malolactic fermentation to achieve a smooth buttery

texture. Thereafter each parcel spent ten months in oak (67% French, 33% American, of which 27% was new wood), with frequent lees stirring for enhanced complexity. The final wine was composed from selected batches to achieve the desired wine style, and then rested before bottling under screwcap during February 2016.

This excellent Chardonnay is highly appealing, with pronounced yellow stonefruit and ginger spice flavours, vanilla, cashew nut and brioche notes. Barrel fermentation and ten months aging in quality oak has also conferred lovely weight and complexity. Enjoy with your favourite chicken or pork dish, or cellar judiciously for 3-4 years.

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