Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


What I'm drinking this week - Abel Chardonnay

New Chardonnay from two generations and a small region.

Wine of the week, 2 March 2024

2021 Abel Tasman Chardonnay RRP $28.99

This new release is the fourth vintage of Abel Chardonnay, which is made by founder-owners Mark and Sophie McGill in collaboration with her parents, James and Wendy Healy (co-founders of Dog Point Vineyards). This outstanding wine has all the creamy nuances that Chardonnay lovers enjoy but it is the fab balance of brightness and acidity that add its strongest appeal, for me. All grapes were hand picked and fermented in 3000 to 5000 litre cuves (large barrels) at warmer than typical fermentation temperatures and 23 months aging (compared to the more typical 11 months in smaller barrels). Stunningly fresh, smooth, full and rich with great depth of flavour. Not to mention outstanding value for money.

The name is a lovely play on words. Nelson is a city rather than a region. Tasman is the region and Abel is the name of the wine. Abel Tasman was the first explorer to discover New Zealand. 

 Available from specialist wine stores such as Regional Wines in Wellington (where I work part time as wine specialist) and from