Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2018


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“This is the last Craighall Chardonnay as we know it. Planted 30 years ago, the Mendoza clone Chardonnay vines grew on their own roots, but eutypa – a trunk disease – finally got the better of them and they had to be pulled up. The last hurrah is made in an effortless style, caressing the palate with its silken texture, yet it retains a sense of precision thanks to its fine line of acidity. The fruit is restrained, there’s the merest hint of well-judged flint, and the French oak influence plays a supporting rather than leading role, offering up savory, nutty characters on the lengthy finish. An impressive curtain call. Drinking window: 2020-2028. 93 points

One of New Zealand’s most respected Pinot Noir producers, offering nuance and complexity. It always manages to balance ripeness of fruit with a delicate hand, extricating fine tannins. Its Craighall Chardonnay has long been its other calling card but, following the 2018 vintage, the vineyard has been ripped out due to eutypa – a trunk disease – and will be replanted with the next vintage to be made at some point in the distant future. In the meantime, other blocks have been planted, resulting in the new Potiki Chardonnay which will have to sate the appetite of Ata Rangi Chardonnay lovers until Craighall makes its return.”

Rebecca Gibb, Vinous (11/20)