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Roll over: 100% Hawkes Bay Chardonnay

The very first job of Chardonnay is to be refreshing.

Helio Chardonnay has a hint of reduction on the nose, reminiscent of freshly struck flint. This gives way to juicy stone fruit and a touch of grapefruit.  An attractive oyster shell mouth feel gives a pithy texture, paired with cleansing citrus and stone fruit on the palate. You’ll be going back for a second glass before you know it. A long finish of quenching bitterness and a hint of toasted vanilla from the old oak barrels makes for seriously food friendly Chardonnay.

Pair with good friends, crayfish, risotto, chargrilled chicken or well seasoned fish.

Helio is the side project put together by talented Clearview winemakers Sarah & Matt Kirby and wine entrepreneur Dave Nash.


91 BH

Roll over: Domaine Leflaive, based in Puligny Montrachet, is one of the most important producers in the Côte de Beaune. 

A pretty nose is comprised by pronounced floral elements that add a touch of elegance to the bright citrus and apple scents. The middle weight flavours exude a bracing salinity on the clean and nicely dry finale. While this could easily be enjoyed upon release, it offers enough development to reward a few years of keeping.  Burghound

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Low stock BH 90-93 D 93

Roll over: Looking for the finest grapes with which to craft the finest wines, Albert Bichot has gradually bought vineyards in the most sought-after locations in Burgundy.

Bichot's Les Clos has power and richness on the palate. with a hint of toasty oak, and rioe stoned fruit characters, this will develop into a fine Grand Cru given a couple of years in the bottle. There is plenty of precision here and there is clearly plenty more to come. Decanter

Roll over: Domaine Leflaive, based in Puligny Montrachet, is one of the most important producers in the Côte de Beaune. Focusing almost entirely on white wines made from Chardonnay.

Made from grapes sourced from a longtime family friend who owns a spectacular plot in Auxey-Duresses. Once harvested, the fruit is taken to Macon for sorting and crushing before being carefully transport to the Domaine in Puligny-Montrachet. The wine is then vinified under the same meticulous standards by which Leflaive is known.


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RP 98 WS 97

Roll over: Leeuwin Estate is one of the five founding wineries in the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia.

This impressive white is complex, supple and elegant, though not shy on intensity. Opens with creamy, satiny notes of apricot, pear, lemon curd and passion fruit puree, with touches of toasted hazelnut, salted caramel, jasmine and green tea. The way the details mingle with and complete one another makes this as complex as it is refreshing, with a fresh thread of acidity weaving in and out. Drink now through 2036. Wine Spectator 97points

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Roll over: Particularly known for its Burgundian-style Chardonnay

 "Pale yellow in color. Well-defined aromas are of blossom, citrus & white peach. The flavours combine limey fruit with obvious toasty oak & vanilla. The mid palate is of mid-weight and quite lean. The oak gives classic mealy noates to the mid-palate. Alcohol is well in balance. The acidity is fresh & mineral in nature, giving a pure, well-focused, finish that endures well."

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Roll over: An exclusive partnership of two extraordinary men who are passionate about producing wines of exceptional quality

French master winemaker Ludwig Vanneron believes the Chardonnay fruit grown in New Zealand is no different to Burgundy, it’s the understanding of terroir and the consistent effort of vine caring that is required. LVCA are looking for flavour concentration with fully ripen grape condition giving a perfect level of phenolic compounds. The fruit is grown in Maraekakaho (a small appellation of Hawkes Bay), being more inland with cooler allows extra time to hang the fruit to reach its full ripeness slowly helping to retain good acidity. Clone B95 is 100% fully fermented in tight-grained French barrels between 10-12 months with occasionally bâttonage. The result with an astonishing pleasant nose of yellow lily and popcorn, with succulent golden peach and tangerine, the rich creamy texture coating bright stone -fruit buttery taste which leaves memorable experience like their brother, Petit Frere.

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Roll over: Excellent nerve and acidity with real cut and potential

One of the finest wines in the portfolio this year is the 2020 Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent, a taut, youthfully reserved bottling of immense promise. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of citrus zest, beeswax, crisp white peach, white flowers, freshly baked bread and oyster shell, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless, with terrific tensioning intensity in a tightly wound format. It's warmly recommended, though patience will be required. Robert

Roll over: Pure crystalline nose, very little reduction - classical left bank Chablis

Here too the nose is elegant, pure and layered but with more floral and spice nuances adding breadth to the cooler and more restrained aromas. There is both excellent intensity and density to the mineral-driven flavors that terminate in a bone-dry, sneaky long and balanced finale. This too is really very good. 91-93 Burghound

Popular Pick RP 93

Roll over: Full-bodied palate, with lovely roundness.

Derived from old vines in Les Minots (that are a source for the Fèvre massale selection), as well as holdings in Roncières and Chatains, the 2020 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons unwinds in the glass with notes of white flowers, crisp stone fruit and clear honey. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and enveloping, it's a beautifully vibrant, racy wine that concludes with a long, penetrating finish. It's the best young Vaillons I've ever tasted chez Fèvre. Robert

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Roll over: A wine for Chablis lovers because of its freshness 

Consisting of roughly equal parts Montmains, Butteaux and Forêts (the three sous-climats of Montmains), the 2020 Chablis 1er Cru Montmains offers up aromas of crisp green apple, white flowers, bee pollen and oyster shell. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and concentrated, it's taut and precise, concluding with a saline finish. Robert

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Roll over: Green and flinty

Derived from 46 hectares of holdings that average around 45 years old, Fèvre's 2020 Chablis Village is a rare example of a cuvée that combines quantity and quality. Offering up aromas of white flowers, clear honey, bread dough and fresh pastry, it's medium-bodied, saline and seamless, with bright acids and a fine-boned, elegant but intensely flavored profile. Robert

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Roll over: Soulful white. Argentina's answer to Montrachet. James Suckling

The nose of the 2020 White Bones Chardonnay is an explosion of thyme and rockrose, aromatic, open, expressive, outspoken, showy and exuberant. It also has notes of white flowers and citrus, pine needles and incense, continuously developing new layers, curry, something smoky, more and more aromatic herbs, nuanced, complex and with a magnetic attraction that makes you go back to the glass over and over again. This was harvested all at the same time, whereas it was sometimes harvested over four different moments in the past; so this is a bit different and an extraordinary year for this wine, transcending the conditions of the year, with lower alcohol and pH (12.5% and 3.1) than the 2021, despite coming from a warmer year. This is very tasty and long, stony (more than White Stones!) and very persistent. Amazing juice! 5,760 bottles produced. Robert

Low stock RP 96

Roll over: Soulful white. Argentina's answer to Montrachet. James Suckling

I had the opportunity to taste two vintages (2020 and 2021) of the top whites side by side and could see the differences of the two years quite clearly, as the wines express the natural conditions of the year quite faithfully. The 2020 White Stones Chardonnay is riper than the other three wines; it's a very good wine, but it shows the warmer year with a rounder mouthfeel, faintly creamy, still a little closed in the nose, which slowly reveals yellow fruit and some spice. The palate is quite gentle, with 13% alcohol and very good balance. 7,500 bottles produced. Robert

17 JR RP 98

Roll over: Leeuwin Estate is one of the five founding wineries in the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia.

The 2020 vintage in Margaret River was moderate to warm and will be forever remembered for the incredibly compacted harvest period, which started two weeks earlier than the 2019 harvest before it and was all wrapped up by Easter—that's largely unheard of. The 2020 Art Series Chardonnay leads with power and density, not unlike the 2018 before it. Tight and green in the glass, you get salted pear, white peach, nectarine, red apple skins, preserved citrus and crushed shell. The wine has minerality and tension within the confines of the opulent fruit. Staggering length, as usual. The winemaking remains relatively consistent across the years: hand-picked fruit from Block 20 and 22 (planted in 1976 and 1978, respectively). Thirty percent of the cuvée was whole bunch pressed to 100% new Burgundian oak, while the balance was destemmed, crushed and pressed to 100% new Bordelais oak. Sulfured post-ferment in order to discourage malolactic fermentation, both components remain in barrel for 11 months. Super wine. Robert 98points

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Just Landed BH 89-91

Roll over: There is a saying "once you start to fall under wine's spell, all roads will lead you to Burgundy."

Dominique Lafon was the first Côte d'Or superstar to expand his holdings into the Mâconnais followed by Domaine Leflaive. They have breathed new life and prestige into this cooperative dominated region. Les Héritieres du Comte Lafon produces wines ranging from generic Mâcon up to four single-vineyard wines. With the same biodynamic techniques as used in his Meursault domaine, Lafon has crafted a range of delicious wines that show the regions true potential.

The cool essence of apple, spice and lemon-lime elements leads to ripe, delicious and generous proportioned flavors that also possess good vibrancy on the very dry but not really austere finale that is a bit firmer still. While this could easily be enjoyed young, it should also repay a few years of cellaring. Burghound