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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Church Road TOM Chardonnaytext
94POINTS
17½/20

Church Road TOM Chardonnay 2019

Hawkes Bay, North Island, New ZealandFrom Tuki Tuki Valley, this was predominantly from a vineyard planted by Tom McDonald in the 1960s, close to the Tuki Tuki river on dense clay over calcareous clay / limestone outwash. The remainder comes from Terraces Vineyard, an old river terrace to the north of Te Mata Peak. A mix of clones 95, 1066, 15, and 548, this was whole bunch pressed directly to French oak barriques (31% new) for a native ferment and full MLF. This aged on full lees for 11 months, occasional bâtonnage before being bottled unfined and lightly filtered. Super powerful with ample reduction, toasted popcorn, rich brown butter, lemon curd, and toast, studded with rock salts, crystalline lemon, and scented with white florals. A potent acidity carries the intensity easily to the lingering finish. This is a lot of intensity in a 13.5% frame, drinking very well now, but even better with cellaring.Tasted: 02 January 2021Tasted by: Treve RingPrices: NZ 135.00 private wine shops Producer: Church RoadGrape: Chardonnay