Historically one of Hawke’s Bay most prized and most popular varietals, Chardonnay is a ZARIA flagship and personifies the structure and balance that result from the area’s fusion of hot days and cool nights.
Because Chardonnay is one of Bryce’s favourites (so much so that 2019 will see him planting Chardonnay vines in Lesley’s Vineyard), he takes particular care in crafting his version of this royal grape to ensure it’s the best possible representation of the style he loves. Through minimal intervention and the use of fine French oak to coax out structure and spice, Bryce produces textural and elegant Chardonnay with complex notes of peach, citrus, and butterscotch.
For the ZARIA Chardonnay, Bryce sources 100% Mendoza-clone fruit from a neighbouring vineyard, hand-picking the grapes (unless inclement weather forces machine-picking) and gently whole-bunch pressing them before allowing the juice to undergo full malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels. After fermentation, the wine ages in-barrel for up to a year and sees regular lees stirring to encourage complexity and depth of flavour.
The resulting gem showcases an impeccable harmony of refreshing stone fruit and citrus qualities alongside buttery, indulgent richness.