Escaroth Vineyard Chardonnay 2019
Single Vineyard: Escaroth Vineyard
Subregion: Taylor Pass
Soil Type: Low-vigour ancient clays
Clone: 100% Clone 95
Viticulture: Dry-farmed and NZ Sustainable Winegrowing certified
Growers: Andy and Kyna Laurie
This inaugural vintage has bowled us over with its bright, zesty grapefruit and lemon notes coupled with brioche, musk and savoury toastiness. There is an oyster-shell, chalky texture that is borne upon precise, defined acidity. Wild fermentation, zero battonage, natural malolactic fermentation and a mixed format oak regime (barriques and puncheons – 30% new) results in a complex and layered palate. Maintaining our minimalist philosophy, we bottle it without filtration and it is presented only with sincerity. Unfined and unfiltered.
"The Best New Zealand Wines to Try Now"
"New Zealand’s newest Master of Wine, ex-solicitor Sophie Parker-Thomson, has been making small-batch wines from Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough with her husband Matt since 2013, but this is her first vintage of this single-vineyard chardonnay. Putting paid to the outdated notion that female winemakers make “feminine” wine styles, Escaroth is declamatory and bold with burnished, golden fruit and buttered brioche held aloft by a fine net of acidity." Sarah Heller MW, HK Tatler Magazine, June 2021
Top 100 New Zealand Wines of 2021 - ''Very impressive complexity and purity here with struck-match, grapefruit and lemon-peel aromas, as well as peach and some gently creamy notes. The palate has vibrant peach and lemon-curd flavors and grilled hazelnut warming the finish.' 93 Points' James Suckling, 30 November 2021
17.5+ Points "A little less open than the Reed Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 and more savoury. Less stylised, it seems, though still a definite ‘reductive’ aroma and style. Intensely mineral on the palate with outstanding intensity and freshness, with remarkable precision and crystalline purity on the palate thanks to the vibrant fruit, with citrus and blackcurrant bud. Juicy fruit even with all this sophistication, adding sensual pleasure to the cerebral attraction of this wine. Poised, complex, with good ageing potential. Julia Harding MW | JancisRobinson.com 27/01/22
94 Points "A suave and seamless Chardonnay that's very relaxed in its own skin. This low-yield season has provided excellent fruit concentration. The combination of barrels and puncheons infuses a nutty, savory element and there's also an appetizing waft of smoky bacon. A fine line of lemon-peel-like acidity emerges on the mouthwatering finish. Excellent harmony and will improve with additional bottle age allowing the oak aromas to soften. This is the cuvée's inaugural vintage, and I cannot wait to see the next". Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous Media November 2020
94 Points "From a north-facing slope in the Southern Valleys Taylor Pass. Concentrated savoury chardonnay with chalky, oyster-shell, mineral, grapefruit, hazelnut, almond and baguette crust flavours. A youthful wine that promises to develop well in bottle." 22/5/2020. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
94 Points "Intense aromas of wood smoke and barrel spice then ruby grapefruit, peach and baked orchard fruits. Youthful and very inviting bouquet. On the palate - weighty, silky, warm, fleshy, spicy, smoky and dry. Fruits flavours reflect the nose with yellow fleshed stone fruits, some apple and grapefruit. Lovely wine on the palate - a Chardonnay lovers paradise. Still developing so no rush to drink till mid, even end of, 2021 and through 2025." 31/05/20 Cameron Douglas MS
4.5 Stars "The very ageworthy 2019 vintage (4.5*) is a single-vineyard wine, grown at Taylors Pass, in the Southern Valleys. Hand-picked, it was fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barriques and puncheons (30 per cent new). Bright, light lemon/green, it has a fragrant, youthful, complex, slightly smoky bouquet. Weighty, with generous, grapefruit-like flavours, a subtle seasoning of oak, excellent complexity, balanced acidity and a tight-knit finish, it should be at its best 2022+." Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide 2021.