Life was a speed tasting at Regional Wines last week when we tasted five of New Zealand’s top Chardonnays at a forerunner to what has now become our weekly staff tasting.

Our top wines were this trio, with our unanimous fave being this  beauty from Nelson’s Neudorf Vineyard…  

2016 Neudorf Rosie’s Block Chardonnay 13.5% ABV RRP $35.90

Winemaker Tim and his partner in wine and life, Judy, named this full bodied, dry, beautifully fresh and zesty Chardonnay after their daughter, Rosie. Its freshness comes from the noticeably high acidity (for Chardonnay) that this South Island wine region provides with its strong zesty citrus flavours, which are balanced by creamy rounded mouthfeel and a long finish. The grapes in this wine were grown on the Moutere hillside where the soils are clay based.

This wine was also a highlight and is a brand new Chardonnay…

2016 Tony Bish Heartwood Chardonnay 13% ABV RRP $34.95

This is the first Heartwood Chardonnay and it was released in the first week of May and priced along the same lines as his new wave Golden Egg, using 100% oak (in this case 25% new Taransaud oak) and hand picked grapes.

And the team were also impressed with this wine, which was my second pick…

2016 Tony Bish Golden Egg Chardonnay 13% ABV RRP $34.95

Fermented in winemaker Tony Bish’s concrete eggs, this is a full bodied, bone dry Chardonnay with fruit driven flavours of bright nectarines, white peach and ripe citrus. It’s tight and youthful with  dialled up flavours of dry, nutty flavours and a long finish. The shape of the fermentation egg provides natural conditions for dry, nutty flavours to develop during fermentation.