91 Insider Points
Very Good- Wine Spectator
Very Good- Wine Enthusiast
Highly Recommended- Beverage Testing Institute
In the Land of Elves, Orcs & Hobbits, Chardonnay is the Drink of Choice.
At least, that's what I'd like to think Frodo and Gandalf enjoyed with the Fellowship on those long journey days. If I had to hike what seems to be thousands of miles, fighting off all sorts of unbelievable creatures, this is what I would want to be drinking at the end of the day.
A yummy nose of buttered popcorn in a sandalwood bowl. Fuji apple, cream and pear on a medium body show smoothly on the palate. It finishes mid-length with ripe cantaloupe. It's been too long since I put on Lord of the Rings, I may watch it tonight with this wine.
91 Points - JZ February '18
"Apple, melon and citrus flavors have a mouthful of toasty cedar notes and firm acidity. Drink now. 12,000 cases made."- Wine Spectator
"This is a simple, fruit-driven white wine, ideal as an apéritif or for patio-sipping. Pear, melon and pineapple notes mingle easily on the nose and palate, finishing moderately long."- Wine Enthusiast
"Bright medium yellow straw color. Bright, toasty aromas and flavors of roasted nut brittle, creme brulee, and dried pineapple with an even, lively, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, easy roasted apple, Meyer lemon, and creamy nougat finish with fine, fruit tannins. A crisp, tangy chardonnay with a hint of oak."- Beverage Testing Institute
Marlborough, New Zealand
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2014 Sacred Hill Chardonnay | 2014 Sacred Hill Pinot Noir | 2014 Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc
Sourced from Sacred Hill’s own Rifleman’s vineyard in Hawkes Bay and from a year “with excellent wines across the board; particularly exciting in Hawkes Bay” (writes Wine Spectator), this New World Chardonnay frankly blows most Cal competitors clear out of the water.
It’s “ideal as an apéritif or for patio-sipping. Pear, melon and pineapple notes mingle easily on the nose and palate, finishing moderately long,” says the Wine Enthusiast. No mistaking this one for anything other than Chardonnay—and in the fresh, fruit-driven vein. The wine was fermented in tank and given a wee seasoning of delicate French oak before bottled, which adds the subtlest note of vanilla spice. Drink this last-of-season bargain with seafood or salads all year long.
Four reasons we love it:
- The 2014 vintage in New Zealand received 91 points from the Wine Spectator. Jancis Robinson notes: “A generally good vintage across the country, with particular excitement in Hawke’s Bay where 2014 is thought of as potentially even better than the outstanding 2013.”
- Established winemaker Tony Bish has made more than 32 vintages of crowd-pleasing, award-winning wines. Good thing for all of us his first career choice—professional surfer—didn’t exactly pan out!
- This estate commands excellent single vineyard sources in Hawkes Bay as well as the better-known Marlborough appellation. The winery itself sits in the shadow of mount Puketapu, or “Sacred Hill” in the local Māori language.
- Sacred Hill has been a committed member of Sustainable Winegrowing NZ initiatives for numerous vintages and was one of New Zealand’s first estates to be audited and accredited by the program. Not easily placated or satisfied, Sacred Hill is also a member of the New Zealand Packaging Accord, which is an organization of businesses driven to reduce environmental waste and excess packaging
Bright medium yellow straw color. Bright, toasty aromas and flavors of roasted nut brittle, creme brulee, and dried pineapple with an even, lively, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, easy roasted apple, Meyer lemon, and creamy nougat finish with fine, fruit tannins. A crisp, tangy chardonnay with a hint of oak.
Back in 1986, David and Mark Mason, with friend and winemaker Tony Bish, began with a simple philosophy of making more wine than they could drink and sharing the rest. They had the perfect place to make it happen, under the shade of Puketapu (sacred hill), along with the white, volcanic cliffs and river land gravels of the Dartmoor Valley in Hawke’s Bay. They were precious days by the river with friends, family, and food.
Pair with: mushroom risotto, pan seared scallops, catch of the day or with good company.