Richard Poole accompanied me on my annual visit to Clearview Estate in Te Awanga in the Hawkes Bay. We were on a mission to blend the 2016 Collaboration Chardonnay for release in March of 2017. This is the 4th consecutive vintage that I have collaborated on with owner Tim Turvey, to make a big, flavoursome, toasty, creamy, buttery Chardonnay that finishes with style. When I originally chose to collaborate with Tim, I did so because his Te Awanga Estate produces rich fruit with superb natural acidity year in year out. Our customers want that full bodied buttery Chardonnay, but they want it to finish with a delicious lift that continually invites them back to the glass. Tim has the perfect fruit, he's been making this style of Chardonnay for 30-years and he understands exactly what our customers want.
Tim was raving about his 2016 blends before we headed down and when we got into the blending session down at the winery (see picture of us having just completed the blend) his words proved absolutely true, but then I've never known Tim to be anything other than honest in my 20-years of buying wine from him. We took several hours to compile the final blend utilising 5 of the 14 blends available. Its relatively easy to decide on the bulk of the blend, in the end it's the addition of a tiny 5% component that brings everything to life and creates the final magic… and so it was with this 2016.
The blend is being bottled in a couple of weeks, then we'll leave it at the winery to settle in the bottle for 4-months before we consider it ready for your enjoyment circa March/April next year. Each vintage the Collaboration Chardonnay has gotten more full bodied, buttery and stylish… we have only 50 dozen of the superb 2015 vintage left, the 2016 will be an absolute belter. Cheers, Jeff