When you live in wine country, the release of special bottlings – a “Reserve” this or a “Single-Vineyard” that – is always cause for excitement. These are usually the best that an estate can create in a given calendar year. But when you get away from the fray, the cost of these specialties comes under more exacting scrutiny. Am I really prepared to spend twice as much, or more, for a particular wine among hundreds of options? When the wine is beautiful, all things do fall into place.
New Zealand’s Villa Maria, headed up by Sir George Fistonich, is over 50 years of age now, crafting singular wines in the Marlborough region of its south island. Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are always delicious here, and tasting their Taylor’s Pass Chardonnay shows what excitement also resides in the Chardonnay vines.
Color of egg white with golden highlights. A fresh, breezy nose of caramel apple, pear and citrus. It’s bracing and inviting with spice-laced liveliness. Flavors are creamy and persistent, including lemon peel and green apple notes inside a “buttery” mix. Acids are vibrant and the finish is savory and balanced. Drink now-2015.