The Pioneer
Chardonnay 2011

Region: Marlborough
Winemaker: Marcus Wright/Rebecca Wiffen
Alcohol: 14.5%  pH: 3.15  RS: 3.0g/L  
TA: 7.2  Brix: 24.8

Tasting Notes

A gentle , hands off approach has produced a wine where the character of the vineyard shines through. Brioche, lemon with subtle smokey, flinty notes show on the nose. The palate is crisp and bright with the acidity providing focus and length. This wine is elegant with a lovely texture and minerality. Grapefruit and lemon flavours are complemented by nectarine and charred oak characters.

Winemaker's Notes

The grapes were whole bunch pressed to stainless steel tanks and settled for twelve hours before racking to barrel (all French oak, 33% new) for fermentation with indigenous yeast. The barrels were allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation, but not stirred. The total time in the French oak was fifteen months.

Viticulture Notes

Produced from grapes from our own Chaytors Road vineyard. The site has free draining pea metal and silt soils and is a early ripening vineyard. Our Mendoza clone Chardonnay is cropped low and produces clean ripe grapes with high acidity. The vines were shoot thinned and lightly leaf plucked before being hand harvested.


This wine will continue to develop over the next ten years.

Food Match

Rich cheeses, creamy pasta and full flavoured seafood dishes.

Tasting Note & accolades (PDF)


Awards & Reviews

Bob Campbell MW - Five stars - 95 points

Pale gold, chicken stock, flint, touch of smoke and musk on the nose. Quite recital and interesting on the palate, minerally with a nutty, meal dimension. Perhaps a bit oak dominant, that being said it has acidity to counteract the richness. (12/2/2015)