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Maimai Chardonnay 2013

  • TP90
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • WS89
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The vines for Maimai Chardonnay produce a wine that is fruit driven and lightly or completely unwooded. The site is a dry site that requires irrigating in dry seasons and this allows the winery to manipulate the canopy size to ensure maximum sun exposure onto the bunches. A good leaf plucking regime also opens the canopy around the bunch zone and the propensity for this clone of Chardonnay to produce "hen & chicken" bunches that add to the complexity of the wine.

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Maimai

Maimai

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Maimai, New Zealand
Maimai is the wine label of Stirling Vines Limited of Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. Stirling Vines is a family run enterprise that began grape growing operations in 1994, supplying grapes to large wineries in New Zealand, primarily Sauvignon Blanc. In early 2002 the decision was made to market a portion of their own fruit under their own label, Maimai. Managed by Mal McLennan, Stirling Vines comprises two vineyards - Stirling vineyard located in Meeanee, and, the Sally's Field vineyard in Bridge Pa. Maimai produces a range of white and red wines from two vineyards in Hawke's Bay, with Sauvignon Blanc being grown in the cooler area of Meeanee, and Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, and Syrah being grown in the hotter regions surrounding Hastings.

About Stiring VinesThe name Maimai derives from a small stream that used to run along side of the eastern boundary of our Meeanee property that we as children named “the creek.” In times of drought this creek was often a source of water for stock and water fowl. At some time in the early 1960's a maimai (hunting blind) was built and the creek became known as Maimai Creek.

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Hawkes Bay

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An eclectic region on the east coast of the North Island, Hawkes Bay extends from wide, fertile, coastal plains, inland, to the coast range, whose peaks reach as high as 5,300 feet. While the flatter areas were historically more popular because they are easier to cultivate, their alluvial soils can be too fertile for vines. In the late 20th century, the drive for quality led growers to the hills where soils are free-draining, limestone-rich and more suited to producing high quality wines.

Over the passing of time, the old Ngaruroro River laid down deep, gravelly beds, which were subsequently exposed after a huge flood in the 1860’s. In the 1980s growers identified this stretch, which continues for approximately 800 ha, and named it the Gimblett Gravels. The zone has proven to be ideal for the production of excellent red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

Today the area takes well-earned recognition for its Bordeaux blends and other reds. Expressive of intense stewed red and black berry with gentle herbaceous characters, Gimblett Gravels wines are suggestive of their cool climate origin, and on par with other top-notch Bordeaux blends around the globe.

Chardonnay is the top white grape in Hawkes Bay, making elegant wines, strong in stone fruit character. Sauvignon blanc comes in close behind, notable for its tropical, fruit forward qualities.

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Chardonnay

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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 practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

PPW142110_2013 Item# 142110