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2017 Whitehaven Marlborough Chardonnay

Reviews & Accolades


Colour / Appearance: Mid straw, with green hints.

Aroma / Bouquet: A complex array of oatmeal, hazelnut, fig, peach and lime fruits, with hints of vanilla, crème brülée and linseed.

Palate: A medium to full bodied wine, with pristine acidity, and mineral line throughout. The fruit and savoury flavours burst onto the palate and persist on the long, refreshing finish.

Cellaring: We recommend drinking our Chardonnay in the first 4 to 6 years after the vintage, but the wine has the structure and closure to allow continued development with careful cellaring.

Food Match: Our Chardonnay is a food-friendly wine. A perfect match for Mediterranean food, pork or chicken pies and creamy mushroom pastas. Serve: Lightly chilled.


  • 2018 NZ International Wine Show: Gold
  • 2018 NZ Wine of the Year Show: Gold
  • 2018 Marlborough Wine Show: Gold

Alcohol: 13.5
Residual Sugar: 1.6
Titratable Acidity: 5.6
pH: 3.25

Harvest Dates: 26th March to 10th April, 2017

Grape Growing: The vines are trained with two canes on a vertical trellis. Balanced pruning, shoot thinning, tucking and trimming are done to achieve an open, healthy canopy. The budburst timing was slightly later than normal and the vines experienced typical spring like conditions of variable temperatures, winds and rain. Early varieties such as Chardonnay, flowered in cooler conditions leading to smaller yields. In mid-December, the weather became warm and dry. January was notable for strong winds that parched the landscape. The later part of the season recorded lower sunshine hours and higher humidity, resulting in delayed sugar ripeness and a later start to harvest.

Winemaking: The fruit was hand-picked and immediately whole cluster pressed. The heavy pressings were kept separate to minimise harsh phenolics. The juice was lightly settled before being inoculated for fermentation. Halfway through fermentation, the juice was transferred to French oak barrels of which 22% were new puncheons. Malo-lactic fermentation was carried out on all of the barrels and the lees stirred regularly during the 11 month maturation to aid texture and richness on the palate.

Sam Smail and Diana Katardzhieva

Michael Cooper, September 2018, 4 stars, Whitehaven Chardonnay 2017

The impressive 2017 vintage was matured for 11 months in French oak casks (28 per cent new). Light lemon/green, with a fragrant, complex bouquet, it is weighty and rich, with concentrated grapefruit and peach flavours, hints of biscuits and nuts, finely balanced acidity and a dry, slightly creamy finish.

Bob Campbell, October 2018, Whitehaven Marlborough Chardonnay 2017

Bright, fresh chardonnay with white peach, citrus, grapefruit and subtle nut and bran biscuit flavours. A high energy wine with typical varietal flavours. 


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