Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, Hamilton Russell
This Marlborough producer makes exceptionally textural wines of great character, on their biodynamically tended estate. Founded by Michael Seresin in the early 1990s, this property has just celebrated its 20th vintage and continues to go from strength to strength.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Behind every winemaker, there's a great story.
Founded in 1992 by cinematographer Michael Seresin, the award winning Seresin Estate situated on the Wairau river terraces of Marlborough in New Zealand is farmed organically and follows biodynamic principals. A new world winery with an old world approach the estate is hand-tendered and hand-picked, and comprises 60 hectares of vines from three vineyards. Raupo Creek, Tatou and Noa. These are really great quality wines, with superb concentration of fruit, and marvellous weight and texture. Great drinking from the modern home of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Marlborough, arguably New Zealand's most famous wine region, is located on the north-eastern tip of the South Island. Representing 62 percent of the country's total vineyard area, Marlborough boasts the greatest area and the largest volume of wine production in New Zealand. Despite its size, Marlborough is a young region, and the first grapes were planted in 1973. By 1980 it was clear that the distinctive, vibrant intensity of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was to be the calling card from which Marlborough would sell itself to the world. The fertile soils of Marlborough are perfect for growing grapes and the combination of sunny, dry days, and cool nights provide a long growing season, helping build the natural sugar and acidity which contribute to their lively flavours. Marlborough's main regions are the broad Wairau Valley and the slightly cooler Awatere Valley. The region may have built its reputation on Sauvignon Blanc, but is also highly regarded for richly-fruited Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.
Produced in wine regions across the world, Chardonnay is a white wine producing grape, and is made in many different styles. From the lean, crisp wines of Chablis, to the exceptional dry Blancs de Blancs of Champagne and the buttery, rich, oaky wines of the warmer regions of California, Chardonnay wines exhibit a full spectrum of flavours and styles. As a fairly neutral grape, it is the land, soil, location, climate and winemaker that have the biggest impact on this famous grape.
Lovely nose of apples and pears, concentrated with rounded silky mouthfeel, good structure with a mineral backbone, hints of oak with an impressive focus.
Simple pork chops with spring greens and mash, or a chunky chicken soup with parsley would be a great accompaniment to this textural, fruit-driven wine.