Valli 'Waitaki Vineyard' Chardonnay 2021
1 or more bottles$84.99
With only 144 dozen bottles produced, this wine is extremely limited and sought-after- only available for a few weeks out of the year. Finely detailed & full of youthful vibrancy, highlighting the potential in Waitaki for producing world-class wines. Aromas of lemon zest, baked biscuits, flint and a hint of nutmeg reminiscent of old world Chardonnay. On the palate there is a beautiful balance of texture from the lees stirring and length from the wonderful limestone-centric soils of the Waitaki. The intense palate builds in the mouth with a silky/citrus character that is wonderfully salivating
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The New Zealand wine industry is one of the younger wine regions in the world, whose popularity grew immensely when Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc hit the world wine scene, quite unique in style when compared to the typical French Sancerre.
Wine is successfully cultivated on both the North and South islands from a latitude of 36 degrees in the North to 45 degrees for the most southerly wine region in the world, the South Island's Central Otago. The majority of regions are located in free-draining alluvial valleys except for Waiheke Island and Kawarau Gorge in Central Otago and benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate as no vineyard is more than 80 miles from the ocean. With plentiful sunshine hours and cool evening sea breezes, the grapes thrive.
Sauvignon Blanc is the major white variety people will think of when you mention New Zealand Whites, however fantastic Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and less commonly Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red variety in New Zealand although Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (Bordeaux Blends), Syrah are also grown and in even smaller amounts, Tempranillo and Montepulcianos can too be found. Sparkling wines of very high standards are also made in New Zealand.
The key wine regions in New Zealand include Auckland, Canterbury, Central Otago, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Nelson.
The remote Waitaki Valley on New Zealand’s South Island sits at roughly the same latitude as Central Otago’s Wanaka wine subregion, but to the east of the island’s Southern Alps. Here, the Waitaki River – one of New Zealand’s largest – flows to the Pacific Ocean. Waitaki Valley is a small, emerging wine region, with the first vine plantings taking place only in 2001. The region enjoys hot, dry summers, with breezes from the Pacific Ocean moderating temperatures to some extent. With cold winters and springs, frost is always a viticultural risk. But long, dry autumns make for an extended growing season, which helps develop ripe fruit flavours and tannin levels in the grapes. Grapes grown here include Pinot Noir (the most planted), Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Gewürztraminer, and often produce high-quality wines. Pinot Noirs from Waitaki Valley tend to be intensely aromatic, with aromas and flavours of red fruit (think red cherries, raspberries, and strawberries) alongside herbal, spicy notes. Crisp acidity and fine-grained tannins are also the hallmarks of these wines. Likewise, Pinot Gris wines boast fragrant aromatics with notes of green fruit, stone fruit, citrus, and spice. Rieslings are typically delicate, with vibrant acidity, penetrating citrus and floral notes, and just the right minerality. Regional Chardonnays feature flavours of green apple, citrus, melon, alongside floral notes.
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About the brand Valli
In the words of Grant Taylor, the pioneering winemaker of Valli, “When you drink a Valli wine you are enjoying more than just a wine, you are experiencing a place.” True to his words, the wines of Valli are well known in the wine world; Taylor has been awarded three times for ‘Best Pinot Noir’ at one of the world’s largest wine competitions in London.
Located in New Zealand’s Central Otago on the South Island, Valli is named after Taylor’s great-great grandfather who immigrated from New Zealand from an Italian winemaking background. The winery was established in 1998, with a keen focus on creating wines that highlight the diversity among Otago’s subregions, a task Grant has taken on with considerable results.
The winery is based around the close-planted estate vineyard in Gibbston and produces a dry Riesling from vines in the Alexandra basin, and a botrytised Riesling, Dolce Vita, from Lowburn fruit. Valli also makes a range of impressive single-vineyard Pinot Noirs from the Otago subregions of Bannockburn, Bendigo and Waitaki Valley.
Grant’s name is synonymous with Otago Pinot Noir. He has been crafting wines in the region since 1993 when there were only 20 hectares planted - today there are over 2,000. Grant’s accomplishments are well known in the wine world and he is credited with winning the Best Pinot Noir Trophy at a major International Wine Competition in London an unprecedented four times – a feat achieved by no other winemaker in the world.
Over the past 25 years he has made the first wines for a number of iconic Otago wineries, but now the serious focus is on his own creation, Valli.
Established in 1998 and named after his Great-Great Grandfather, Giuseppe Valli, who immigrated to New Zealand from an Italian winemaking background, Grant founded Valli with the aim of creating true representations of Otago’s subregions with unflinching intensity and purity. This was also a first for the region – no one had attempted to capture, let alone master the developing subregional plot that has now begun to unfold as the next exciting chapter in the Otago wine story.