Price:  £17.85 | Case Rate: £16.96
Ex Tax: £14.88

Isabel Estate - Chardonnay 2016


  • Country: New Zealand
  • Wine Region: Marlborough
  • Wine Area: Wairau Valley
  • Wine Maker: Jeremy McKenzie
  • Grape: Chardonnay
  • Grape Percentage: 100%
  • Alcohol Percentage: 14%
  • Unit Quantity (ml): 750
  • Best To Drink: Drink Now
Duty/Vat Paid
WA: 91 (2016) WF: 94 (2016) BC: 90 (2013) MC: 3.5 Stars (2012) RC: 17.5 (2012)

Wine tasting notes

Pale straw colour. On the nose aromas of honey and baked apricot are underscored by a hint of vanilla. On the palate flavours of fresh citrus and nectarine are balanced by subtle oak and butterscotch. Medium-full bodied with well integrated acidity and bready yeast lees, this wine will only continue to improve with age. Finely textured with a lingering finish.

Winery Information

Isabel Estate

One of Marlborough's largest family-owned wineries, the Isabel Vineyard was established by Michael and Robyn Tiller in 1982. The Tillers initially operated as contract growers supplying the likes of Cloudy Bay. In 1994 they decided to start bottling their own wines, and they now operate entirely on an estate basis, making wines produced only from their own vineyards under their full control. Their progression into winemaking met with sensational results, their very first release, a Pinot Noir,.. read more

Expert Reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2016)91 pts

Isabel's 2016 Chardonnay took the top trophy at the 2017 Air NZ Wine Awards, and from this sample, it's easy to see the appeal. It's a reasonably complex, harmonious wine, with subtle toasty elements married to melon and citrus flavors and a silky, lingering finish. I wouldn't put it among my top NZ Chardonnays of this round of tastings, but you certainly won't go wrong with it—it is a lovely wine for drinking now and over the next 5 years.

Wine Front (2016)94 pts

It took out both the Champion Chardonnay award at the most recent NZ Wine Awards and also the Champion Wine of Show. It’s a glowing yellow colour and it sits squarely in a corner full of spent matchsticks. This is flint-splashed to say the least. It has plenty of flavour too, all peachy and ripe, with gentle croons of buttery/smoky oak, pear and sweet spice notes. It’s not a wine to go either unnoticed or unremarked. It has flesh, it has body, it has sophistication. You have to like the funkier end of the chardonnay spectrum but there’s no denying the fruit quality here, nor the wine’s length.

Bob Campbell MW (2013)90 pts

Quite rich, fruit-focused Chardonnay with grapefruit, nectarine, apple and hazelnut flavours. The wine works well texturally with good weight and mouth-feel. Still youthful but very accessible with potential to develop well in bottle.

Michael Cooper (2012)3.5 stars

The 2012 vintage (3.5*) was estate-grown and handled in old oak casks. Already enjoyable, it is full-bodied and fleshy, with peachy, slightly buttery flavours, showing some complexity, and a rounded finish.

Raymond Chan (2012)17.5 pts

Chardonnay fruit hand-picked, WBP and fully barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in seasoned French oak, undergoing partial MLF and batonnage. Even straw-yellow colour with light golden hues’ pale on edge. This has an elegantly proportioned, intense nose, tightly bound with ripe citrus fruits at the core. With aeration, aromatic elements unfold, revealing subtle butterscotch, oak, mineral and steely notes. Medium-full bodied, the flavours of fresh citrus fruits and yellow stonefruits are tightly bound. The fruit is enriched by seamlessly integrated and interwoven nutty oak and butterscotch layers. The mouthfeel is fresh with lacy acidity and the flavours flow smoothly with refined textures providing good linearity, carrying through to a long and sustained finish. This is an elegant, citrussy Chardonnay with integrated oak and buttery nuances and a fresh and fine-featured mouthfeel. Match with seafood, poultry and pork over the next 4+ years.

Vinification Notes

The Mendoza and B95 clones from the vineyard were hand-picked and gently whole bunch pressed. The juice was then transferred into seasoned oak barrels where 100% underwent a wild yeast ferment with a portion also undergoing spontaneous Malolactic fermentation. An occasional lees stir helped to complete the process. After maturing in oak for 9 months the wine was transferred to stainless steel tanks for bottling.