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edited by Sue Courtney
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Wine of the Week for week ending 19 Oct 2008
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Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2007
Nelson, New Zealand

Earlier this year at a First Glass tasting, we had a sensational evening with Tim Finn, Master of Neudorf Wines. I hadn't tasted the Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay for several years but the tasting of the 2005 and 2006 that night reaffirmed their greatness. So I was looking forward to trying the new vintage 2007 that Judy Finn had sent a bottle to me for sampling.

"Would it be too soon," I pondered, as I read the notes saying that it would be a beautiful wine to cellar. However they did suggest that opening a bottle for Christmas would give a perspective on its development. Then, as I considered that the bottle had been sent for review, the decision was made and with a flick of the wrist, the screwcap made it characteristic crack as it broke its seal and the paper 'tamper evident' seal broke too.

A light golden colour in the glass, the heady scents of caramel, baguette and smoky French oak are mesmerising. The flavours of the wine, once in the mouth, even more so - ripe stonefruit, hazelnut, fig, underlying savoury flavours and beautiful use of oak. With its silky seamless texture and a lasting, satisfying finish this is drinking beautifully already. There is no need to wait for Christmas - except for the celebration and to have a delicious wine to enjoy on the day. Seize the moment and enjoy it now. You may not be here tomorrow.

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay has an excellent track record for cellaring and the screwcap will ensure that it will be taint-free when opened.

So what to eat with this heady wine?

We took the bottle to dinner on Friday night to try out some different dishes. However it was not a good match for my delicious scallops in a lime, mango and coriander sauce served on Melba toast - they were better with Riesling, as reported elsewhere. Nor did it work with a dish that the menu described as bacon-wrapped chicken breast stuffed with spinach, pinenuts, cranberry and camembert (so where on earth did the spicy chilli flavour come from?). But Neil reported that it was a good but not great match for his entrée of mussels stuffed with smoked salmon and camembert in a tempura batter - shells and all.

I decided to give scallops another try - this time as recommended on the Neudorf website - simply seared and dusted with thyme. Scallops are in season at the moment and they are plump and beautiful. That would be followed by pieces of chicken rubbed with olive oil and roasted over whole garlic cloves.

Now these simply prepared food matches let the wine continue to be the star that every part of your senses tell you that it is. I written more about the food on my blog.

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2007 is a sensational treat and while Neudorf does not enter this particular wine in competitions here in New Zealand, they do enter some of their others - the Neudorf Nelson Chardonnay 2006 picked up a 5-star award in Cuisine magazine earlier this year. If the Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay was entered, it would collect so many stars it would be one of the highest fliers. The name says it all ….. Neudorf Moutere.

It's $55 a bottle and just 340 cases were produced. Rare but not impossible to find in retail, most people buy direct from the winery. Find out more from neudorf.co.nz.

© Sue Courtney
13 Oct 2008


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E-mail me: winetaster@clear.net.nz