I really wanted to find a unique white wine for this month's selection featuring the wines from Australia and New Zealand. I know I could have easily found a Sauvignon Blanc. I was really happy to find the wine that I did.
The Sapphire selection this month is the 2022 Escarpment Chardonnay.
We are headed back to New Zealand's southern part of the North island. Escarpment is defined as a long, steep slope that lies at the end of a plateau. The winery is located on Te Muna road in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 'Te Muna' in Māori, means 'secret' or 'special place'. Winemaker Tim Bourne focuses on producing wines that capture the unique sense of place, the chardonnay is sourced primarily from their vineyards on Te Muna road.
This wine reminds of a Chardonnay (Burgundy) from France. The vineyard sits on alluvial loams, which are layered over deep gravel: this ensures great drainage. Which in turn help nuture the production of premium quality, healthy vines. The climate is generally cool with summer days not normally exceeding 86° (30°C). This allows the fruit to develop clean and with commanding flavors. Along with the fruit being handled with great care, the grapes are whole bunch pressed and fermented using indigenous yeast (this enhances the texture and complexity). The wine was aged in barrel, 20% new, for 11 months.
Right off the bat, the minerality is present in the aroma. There are hints of citrus, but the flinty mineral stood out the most, on the nose and the palette. This is probably not like any Chardonnay you've ever had. To quote the tasting notes "It is a wine that is built around elegance and restraint, offering focus and persistence."
For the red wine selection we are headed back to Australia where the grapes are grown in . McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek. This months red selection is the 2020 Mollydooker 'The Boxer' Shiraz. 'Mollydooker' is Aussie slang for a left handed boxer (The boxer on the label is wearing two left-handed gloves). Sarah Marquis is the owner and Chief Winemaker for Mollydooker,
Check out the above link to see how Mollydooker came to be.
In 2006, the first vintage of The Boxer came out. Robert Parker got a hold of it and rated it the "Best value Red Wine in the World" 😳 Two Left Feet was voted the second best and the Maitre D' Cabernet as the fourth. The Violinist Verdelho was also chosen as the 'Best Value White Wine in the World. Their wines sold out in 17 days after that. Since then they have continued to garner consistent success and accolades.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, there is a proper way to open this and other red wines from Mollydooker. Check it out:
Did you notice he did The Mollydooker Shake™️ with his left hand? Total pro. If you've already imbibed your bottle and want to try "the shake", hit me up I have more bottles.
This wine is just really good. I know I said I'm trying to be better at describing wines but I really like passing on as much pertinent information and having you form your own opinions about wine. This wine has a lot going on. For me it started out dark fruits on the nose, think black cherries and plums. Once it hits your pallet, game on. This wine is so beautifully layered and elegant. My notes highlighted the creamy texture, with hints of chocolate. Once again I defer to the winery's tasting notes "This Boxer is truly a knockout.