Vidal Soler Chardonnay 2017, Vidal
New Zealand / Hawkes Bay
Andy's Tasting Notes
Exclusive to Cellar Selected – you will not find this wine available anywhere else in the UK.
I can’t recommend this wine enough for its price to quality ratio. A very special wine for any lover of Chardonnay.
On his last visit to the UK, Vidal chief winemaker Hugh Crichton dropped me off a bottle of their new single vineyard Chardonnay – Soler.
This is the first of what Vidal hope will be a new range of specific single site vineyard wines. Pitched just below their iconic Legacy Chardonnay, it’s a premium chardonnay without the Burgundian premium price tag! What really impressed me though was the sheer harmonious drinkability – everything in its right place – fruit, acid, oak and elegant complexity.
This is the sort of wine that if placed in a large tasting would almost certainly be overlooked. It’s a classic example of restraint and understated style.
So, just the wine to have in our portfolio and I made some calls/emails to purchase. I was told that none had been earmarked for the UK market. Hmm….., so using my powers of persuasion Hugh agreed to let me have the last of the winery stock.
Notes of peach and citrus with the fruit perfectly accompanied by subtle nutty and creamy oak. The texture is rich yet framed by crisp acidity and enhanced by fragrant and very gentle spice and mineral overtones. The most impressive feature is the overall impression of harmony – no one attribute stands out, everything is where it should be.
Grapes are from the Kokako vineyard in the Ohiti valley. Barrel fermented and aged in 40% new oak for 10 months. Some battonage – 20% underwent malolactic fermentation.
Anyway, enough of the techno blurb – buy a bottle and prepare to luxuriate.
Don’t over-chill it – or you’ll miss the point and all the subtlety!
Price per bottle £23.80
Hugh Crichton became Vidal winemaker in 2006, having worked with the Vidal winemaking team in various capacities since 2004. Prior to joining Vidal, Hugh had established a solid winemaking career both in New Zealand and overseas, working vintages at Chateau Soutard Grande Cru Classe in Saint Emilion France, Chard Farm in Central Otago, Donnafugata in Italy and several at Millton Vineyards in Gisborne where his inspiration for environmentally conscious and organic winemaking and viticulture was fostered.
Hugh’s winemaking philosophy focuses on minimal intervention from vineyard site to bottle. The result is a collection of award winning and highly acclaimed wines which are true to their roots and exhibit the perfect combination of balance, concentration and complexity.
Vidal is dedicated to environmentally friendly winemaking and sustainable winegrowing practices. This mindset allows Vidal to contribute to New Zealand’s “clean, green” image and increase quality assurance from vineyard through to the finished wine. Vidal was a founding member of the Living Wine group, a small group of wineries who gained ISO 14001 certification in 1998, having achieved a globally recognised standard in environmental management systems. The winery is a member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) and BioGro certified, meaning it is accredited to process grapes grown using organic principles.
Food matchCreamy seafood risotto
Awards & Critic Reviews
97/100 Cameron Douglas MS, July 2018
“A great bouquet of Chardonnay with textured & layered aromas suggesting white peach, sweet grapefruit, quince, lemon and white flowers. A flinty mineral layer adds complexity with a mix of new and older oak flavours adding additional allure. A weighty wine on the palate with a dry finish. A wine for many Chardonnay aficionados to embrace with finesse and charm. Drink now and through 2028.”
5 Stars & 18.5/20 Raymond Chan, July 2018
“Bright straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is full and voluminous with good depth of softly-packed complex aromas of white stonefruits harmoniously layered with an amalgam of citrus fruits, nuances of gunflint and minerals, and a little nutty oak. There is a deep core to the aromatics. Medium-bodied, the palate has a rounded and well-concentrated heart of white stonefruits interwoven with nutty and mealy notes, and some flinty, minerally reduction adding to the complexity. The flavours gently open to fill the palate, and flow along a light-textured line with soft, lacy acidity lending energy. This has good drive and some underlying power, and the wine carries to a long, sustained finish of stonefruits, nuts and flint. This is a rounded, well-concentrated Chardonnay with complex white stonefruit, nutty, and flinty mineral flavours on a palate with power and drive. Match with poultry, pork and veal over the next 4 years. Fruit from the ‘Kokako’ vineyard, Ohiti Valley, vines planted in 2008, fully barrel-fermented, partially by indigenous yeasts to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 40% new oak with batonnage, and approx. 15-20% undergoing MLF. 400 dozen made.”
5 Stars & 94/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, July 2018
“Exquisitely styled and seductively elegant, the wine shows white flesh stone fruit, fig, lemon peel and vanilla characters with nuances of cedar and flint. The palate is magnificently weighted and concentrated, exhibiting excellent focus and depth, brilliantly structured by perfectly pitched acidity. Refined and poised for graceful development. At its best: 2019 to 2024.”