Wine of the week… New Empire Chardonnay

Wine of the week…


2018 Empire Chardonnay $25

Brand new from Marlborough, sealed with a screwcap, made from grapes grown on Gee Street, Renwick, Blenheim, dry (1.2 grams RS), made by Cullen Neal of Sugarloaf Wines for Callum and Sarah Linklater; grape growers.

The story…

Callum and Sarah Linklater are grape growers in Marlborough who decided to cash in on the action when they tried the high quality of their grapes, so in 2018 they made their first Chardonnay from fruit grown on their vineyard in Gee Street in Renwick.

It’s a beauty.

Big, bold and bottled early to take advantage of the high quality fruit from the crazy warm weather in the 2018 vintage.

It’s bone dry with 1.2 grams of residual sugar per litre and full malolactic fermentation, which gives creamy texture and balance without dominating flavours – only old oak was used for the maturation in barrel, which allows the citrus and stone fruit flavours to shine. It’s refreshing to taste full bodied Chardonnay without full on barrel ferment character.

Their winemaker is Cullen Neal of Sugarloaf Winery. This year, 2019, they will also produce a Sauvignon Blanc under the Windrush Wines banner.

More information here:

Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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