AG Pick: Craggy Range Chardonnay 2010

With all the attention paid to New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc it may be easy to overlook the country’s Chardonnay. While Craggy Range Vineyards produces lovely Sauvignon Blanc, the Chardonnay should not be missed.

Refreshing acidity, pleasing minerality and just the slightest touch of oak make the 2010 Craggy Range Chardonnay reminiscent of its French counterpart.

Craggy Range is a family-owned winery that specializes in single vineyard wines. Their 2010 Chardonnay is produced entirely from Chardonnay from Kidnappers Vineyard in Hawkes Bay. The Hawkes Bay region is located along the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

Grapes for the Craggy Range Chardonnay were mainly harvested by hand. Fermentation took place in stainless steel and closed oak tanks. The wine spent five months in 8% new French oak barrels.

This Chardonnay is pale straw yellow in color with tart aromas of citrus. The taste is light and crisp, with flavors of lemon, white grapefruit, starfruit and a hint of toasted almond. Mineral notes of flint and chalk give the wine added depth. Overall the wine is refined and elegant, and highly enjoyable to sip as an aperitif or with food.

The Craggy Range Chardonnay can be paired with shellfish, salads and light seafood or pasta dishes.

A bottle of the Craggy Range Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 costs $22.

13.5% alcohol by volume

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