Allan Scott Vineyard Select Chardonnay 2003
Allan Scott is synonymous with wine in Marlborough: he has worked every harvest since 1973 and is credited with planting some of region’s most famous vineyards, including the very first. In 1990, Allan and his wife Catherine established Scott Family Winery as one of the first independent wineries of Marlborough. Since inception, the winery has produced wines consistent in flavor and quality year after year while continually evolving to keep ahead of the changing demand of the market. A true family affair, Allan and Catherine remain actively involved in all levels of production; their son Josh is the winemaker; and their daughters Sara and Victoria are the viticulturist and marketing manager, respectively. The Scott family attributes its success to excellent vineyard sites, hard work, superb conditions and a desire to produce the world’s best wines. With its distinctive combination of cool nights, sunny days, and young soils, Marlborough is recognized as one of the world’s greatest wine regions. Within Marlborough, the Rapaura area along the northern edge of the Wairau Valley has become particularly prized and is home to the family’s vineyards, all within close proximity to the winery. The vineyards are farmed using organic inputs, with minimal chemicals and energy. In 2006, the Scott Family Winery joined the Sustainable Winegrowers program and continues to follow its practices closely. The modern, fully-equipped winery specializes in the production of the aromatic varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris, which are perfectly suited to the gravelly soils that predominate in the vineyards. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir also thrive in the sunny Marlborough climate, contributing to the Scotts’ ever-growing reputation for traditionally made wines. As avid bubbles fans, the family proudly produces on site an impressive range of bubbles made in the méthode traditionnelle.
A relatively young but extremely promising wine producing country, New Zealand is widely recognized for its distinctive wines made from the aromatic, Sauvignon blanc.
The world’s most southerly vineyards are found here, with significant climatic variation both between and within the warmer North Island and the cooler South Island. Overall, the climate is maritime, with plenty of rainfall, as well as abundant sunshine. Producers have almost unilaterally embraced cutting-edge winery technology, resulting in clean, high-quality wines at every price point from wallet-friendly to premium.
Sauvignon blanc, known here for its trademark herbaceous character, is at its best in Marlborough but thrives throughout the nation, accounting for an overwhelming majority of the country’s exports. While this is indeed the country’s most planted and successful variety, it is certainly not the only New Zealand grape capable of delighting wine lovers.
Chardonnay is the second-most important white variety and takes on a supple texture with citrus and tropical fruit aromas in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, respectively. Pinot noir, second behind Sauvignon blanc in national production numbers, is at its best in Central Otago—the most southerly winegrowing region in the world! These wines are known for bright and juicy red fruit. Taking cues from the wines of Alsace, aromatic varieties like Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer shine in Martinborough, while red Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have found success in Hawke’s Bay. Throughout New Zealand but especially in Marlborough, Pinot noir and Chardonnay are used to produce traditional method sparkling wines.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.