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Wild Earth Chardonnay 2022


This is a complex, bright, generous, and intriguing Chardonnay that showcases the great fortune of growing grapes at elevation in a warmer season. There is a delicious combination of ripe citrus and tropical fruit on the nose with a touch of vanilla and ginger. The palate is a delight for the senses with amazing richness and texture that is complemented by exquisite freshness. Each layer comes together in wonderful harmony delivering a very balanced and delicious wine. Uniquely textured and fresh in its youth, this wine should develop beautifully for 10+ years.

Awards and reviews
5 stars, 95 pts – Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
4.5 stars – Michael Cooper
93 points, 4 stars – Jane Skilton MW
92 points, premium – Cam Douglas MS
17.5/20 – Joelle Thomson

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Vintage notes
The 2021-2022 growing season had a moderate winter and reasonably wet spring with above average temperatures resulting in an early and successful flowering. A warm dry January was followed by a wet February which helped slow down the expedited ripening until March which was hot and dry leading to an early harvest for Chardonnay. The fruit was picked in great condition with healthy yields.

Winemaking notes
The Chardonnay grapes came from the Highgrange Vineyard situated at 336m-352m in Pisa. The 15 year old vines are planted with Clone 95 (60% of the wine) and Mendoza (40%); two complimentary clones that give texture and freshness to the wine. The grapes were hand-harvested on the 5th and 6th April with each clone fermented kept separate until blending. The grapes were whole-bunch pressed and fermented with wild yeasts on full solids which adds both richness and complexity to the wine and requiring minimal stirring. A full malolactic fermentation contributes to the rich texture. The wine was fermented and aged for 9.5 months in 5% new French oak from the premium Troncais forest in France; the rest in older French barriques.

This wine is Vegan

Alcohol: 14 %
pH: 3.40
T.A: 6.4g/l
Residual Sugar: 1.9g/l

Awards and Reviews

5 stars, 95 pts – Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
“Gracefully composed, the wine shows rockmelon, lemon peel, vanilla, roasted hazelnut and savoury pastry aromas on the nose. The palate displays excellent weight and depth, wonderfully enhanced by creamy texture and beautifully pitched acidity, finishing supremely elegant and satisfying. At its best: now to 2030”.

4.5 stars – Michael Cooper
“The highly attractive, youthful 2022 vintage (4.5*) is a single-vineyard wine, hand-picked at Pisa, and fermented and matured for 10 months in French oak barriques (5% new). Bright, light yellow/green, it is fresh and full-bodied, with generous, vibrant, well-ripened stonefruit flavours, gentle biscuity and mealy notes adding complexity, balanced acidity and a harmonious, slightly creamy-textured finish.”

93 points, 4 stars – Jane Skilton MW
“Very pure ripe white-stone fruit and subtle cedar, cinnamon spice. Palate has concentration supported by a lovely thread of acidity running through. Taut and restrained. Good length. Drink from 2024-2029. Tasted: December 2023”.

92 points, premium – Cam Douglas MS
“A lovely bouquet of fresh peaches and red apple, vanilla and barrel spices, the ideal combination where no single attribute outweighs the other. Dry with a satin cream texture as the wine touches the palate, youthful acid line and fine fruit and wood tannins. Balanced and well made with flavours of fruit and wood to mirror the nose leading to a moderately complex finish. Best drinking from day of purchase through 2026”.

17.5/20 – Joelle Thomson
“Chablis-esque flavours shine through in this smooth, creamy, subtly powerful Chardonnay from the evocatively named Wild Earth winery in Central Otago. Grapes from the elevated hillside Highgrange Vineyard in Pisa were fermented in barrels, approximately 10% new, to give this wine its soft, textural qualities and full body. The long citrusy finish comes from the cool nights in the region, which provide fresh acidity and drive to each sip of this lovely wine”.

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