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Monday 2 January 2023

Exploring the varied terroirs of Chard Farm

One of the most fun experiences for any wine lover is exploring the similarities and differences between wines from the same producer.

Chard Farm is a small family-owned winery located close to Queenstown, Central Otago.

It is one of New Zealand's finest cool-climate producers with a focus on premium pinot noir, often making wines that are more subtle than some of their powerhouse neighbours.

Established in 1987, Chard Farm has six estate-owned vineyards in the Cromwell and Gibbston regions of Central Otago.

What a joy to be able to explore the synergies between four stellar 2020 individual vineyard pinot noirs.

I'd recommend this exercise for any small group of wine lovers. It's a certain conversation starter about wines that are certainly worthy of debate.

The 2022 The Tiger - from the Lowburn sub-region - was my personal favourite. 

In the zone with immediate drinkability (not always the case with this vineyard) and excellent balance. An expressive and elegant wine that will cellar well.

The Eliza - from a vineyard above the Kawarau River in Bannockburn - is a bright and vivacious red-fruited wine; high in acid and minerality, while the The Viper - from the Parkburn area on the western side of Lake Dunstan - is very tight and very savoury with impressive length.

The Mason - from the Parkburn sub-region of the Cromwell Basin.- is all about red fruit, spice, structure and intense pinosity.

An impressive quartet, each enjoyable on its own merits - but fascinating to dissect as a group.

Around $85 per bottle - but certainly a fun investment.

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