2016 Bone Line Barebone Chardonnay
Unoaked Chardonnays are funny things - all too often they are excuses for bland, insipid, simple wines. Grown on lime rich soils (similar to Chablis - the home of this style of Chardonnay) the wine has super fresh acidity that has been softened with a few years in bottle backed by good fruit weight and minerality. Don't trust me? Rebecca Gibb MW describes the wine simply: "An unoaked, almost salty, briney Chardonnay that has lipsmacking acidity." Cameron Douglas MW goes a little further: "Layered bouquet with soft mineral, grapefruit and lemon with white peach and soft spice moments. On the palate – calm, fresh flavours with lively acidity and very fruity with plenty of citrus and stone fruit suggestions, mild to moderate oak spice and finishes as it begins with a mineral note. Medium+ weight, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2019." The wine is not Chablis and it is not trying to be - it is a modern kiwi take on the genre and while inspired by these wines is a beautiful expression of North Canterbury terroir without OTT winemaking artifice (read oak).
For those not familiar with The Bone Line, the first vintage was 2013, it is the reinvigoration of the Waipara West vineyard. The wines are poised and focused across the board with one of the best examples classic off-dry Canterbury Riesling I can remember tasting, beautiful Pinot and some other off-piste stunners like Cab Franc.