A traditional style Chardonnay showing rich, generous fruit with a creamy character and clean lees complexity. Enticing toasty lees flavour with an oatmeal influence. The mid-palate texture is supported by a focused, persistent finish.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
Awards Listed in Chronological Order
Sourced predominantly from our Estate vineyards in the middle Wairau valley – Woodbourne and Rapaura. The Woodbourne site has silt loam over old river gravels producing bright, citrus aromatics and fine acidity. The Rapaura block is older vines on a fertile site closer to the Wairau River. The fruit produced has punchy tropical character and the age of the vines ensures lower cropping and very good fruit weight as well as the intensity of aroma and flavour.
The early season was dry in Marlborough but soil moisture levels were high enough to maintain exceptionally healthy vines. Average temperatures increased through December leading to successful flowering. Rain in January and February arrived at the right time which was ideal conditions for berry development. Increased temperatures from February onward created the perfect ripening environment. Overall, these conditions contributed to creating fruit with developed flavour and acidity – perfect for Chardonnay.
Several component picks were fermented separately in larger format French oak barrels. Minimal malolactic fermentation retained acidity. The wine was matured in barrel for 11 months prior to barrel selection and blending. The wine was held cool on light lees in tank for a further seven months for greater complexity and to provide more focus prior to bottling in November 2017.
The Wairau Valley
The highly sought-after Wairau Valley is an ancient riverbed nestled between two mountain ranges and bordered to the North by Cook Strait. Broadly speaking, this finite sub-region of Marlborough covers cooler, drier inland sites, barren stony, early-ripening sites to sea-breeze moderated coastal sites. Soils are more gravelly to the north nearer the riverbed. Within this, wines reflect the individual vineyard and producer strengths but all have the hallmark pure fruit intensity and body.
Ara own 13 vineyards in the Wairau Valley and maintain strong long-term relationships with some of the Valley’s best growers. This means Ara consistently have the finest grapes from the region each vintage.