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2012 Villa Maria Estate Chardonnay Reserve Hawkes Bay
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 90
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90 Points | International Wine Cellar , September/October 2013

Very pale, green-tinged yellow.  Brisk lemon, lime, underripe peach and mint aromas are complemented by spicy oak.  Densely packed and light on its feet, with good concentration to its peach, spice and mineral flavors.  Finishes stony and dry, with a touch of nutty oak.  Nicely balanced and fresh chardonnay.

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About New Zealand

New Zealand's ocean-influenced climate--markedly cooler than that of its neighbor Australia--yields wines with admirable fruit intensity and crisp acidity. Fully two-thirds of New Zealand's wine production is white, and more than half of the wine it ships to America is Sauvignon Blanc. The U.S. market has developed a major thirst for these juicy, fresh New Zealand Sauvignons, which are mostly free of oak influence. But New Zealand Pinot Noir, too, is growing...
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Chardonnay

The best Chardonnays in the world continue to arrive from the region where the grape first emerged: the chalk, clay, and limestone vineyards of Burgundy and Chablis. While the origins of the grape were disputed for many years, with some speculating that the grape came all the way from the Middle East, DNA researchers at the University of California-Davis proved in 1999 that Chardonnay actually developed...
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