4 1/2 Stars - Sam Kim (Wine Orbit)
2012 Mount Riley Chardonnay
Mount Riley's Estate Range (pictured right) is great quality and value. Each wine in this range is fresh with pure, vibrant fruit flavours and aromas.
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Named after the predominant peak in the Richmond Range, on the north side of the Wairau Valley, Mount Riley is a fast-growing, medium-sized company, known for attractive, well-priced wines. Delicious young, this full-bodied, dry wine was 70 per cent barrel-fermented but is not at all oaky, with strong, grapefruit-like flavours shining through and a smooth, slightly creamy finish. Chardonnay is coming back into fashion and sub-NZ$20 models don’t get much better than this.
Juicy buttered crumpet, popcorn, peach, pineapple and toasted creme caramel. If that's not enough to make you leap out and buy it then how's change from $20? I can see loads of this delicious wine being served at spring weddings because it totally over-delivers for its price.
Marlborough is not all about Sauvignon Blanc, as demonstrated by this well-priced entry-level Chardonnay. The grapes come from the Wairau Valley region and it is an interesting blend of 70 per cent fermented in French barriques, 30 per cent in stainless steel. This produces a Chardonnay with bright, upfront yellow fruit and citrus flavours with a swish of spice, toast, oatmeal and nuts.
Blended from Chardonnay fermented in stainless steel and French oak barrels resulting in a wine with bright fruit forward characters yet complexity and depth of flavour. An approachable wine with stonefruit, melon and citrus flavours