Chardonnay Marlborough New Zealand
The unique terrains upon which the Stoneleigh Vineyards lie, impart distinctive qualities into the wines. Located on the northern side of Wairau Valley, in close proximity to Marlborough's main river, the growers have established sites on deep, infertile gravel beds, covered by smooth sunstones. These polished stones reflect the sun's heat during the day, assisting ripening, whilst radiating heat throughout the cool of night. True to the Stoneleigh style, this classic, elegant Chardonnay delivers bright varietal fruit and captures the essence of Marlborough.
Marlborough's Rapaura soils are geologically young and based on river silts and stones. The effects of sun and soil are retained throughout the vinification to produce a wine with its own unique sense of place. Chardonnay clones Mendoza, 6, 95 and 15 are harvested at the peak of intensity. Only the first cut pressings are included for a course of oak barrel and fermenters. Most of the wine completes malolactic to lower acidity and add textural creaminess. Batches are lees stirred several months and fined using low rates of isinglass before a final assemblage based on palate freshness and softness. Most components are matured in a mix of French and Hungarian oak barriques or larger format vats. Alcohol 13.7%
Light straw colour. Stoneleigh exudes intense white stonefruit aromatics in balance with toasty barrel notes. Bouquets of peaches and nectarine with hints of grapefruit and citrus, overlaid by sweet toasty oak. The palate is soft, exhibiting good textural weight, balancing fruit with the creaminess of barrel ferment and lees ageing. The richness is balanced by a backbone of acidity leaving the palate with lifted clean fruit flavours.