Price:  £19.95 | Case Rate: £18.99
Ex Tax: £16.63

Villa Maria - Single Vineyard Taylor's Pass Chardonnay 2017


  • Country: New Zealand
  • Wine Region: Marlborough
  • Wine Area: Awatere Valley
  • Wine Maker: Alastair Maling & George Geris
  • Grape: Chardonnay
  • Grape Percentage: 100%
  • Alcohol Percentage: 14%
  • Unit Quantity (ml): 750
  • Best To Drink: Drink now-2020
Duty/Vat Paid
WA: 90+ (2016) VS: 89+ (2014) WS: 91 (2013) JS: 91 (2015) JG: 93 (2015) BC: 93 (2015) MC: 5 Stars (2014) RC: 19 (2014) NM: 93 (2015) Misc: 4.5 Stars (2016)

Wine tasting notes

This wine has been gently crafted using a natural approach to winemaking. The result is an intriguing, delicate and complex Chardonnay displaying stylish finesse. It is elegant with aromas of subtle citrus, predominantly lemon. Mineral and complex smoky notes also intermingle on the nose. The palate has complex layers of citrus and minerals, finishing with a long tight structure.

Winery Information

Villa Maria

It is not easy to tell your Dad that you are quitting a career in carpentry to try your hand at making wine. But in 1961, at the age of 21, that's exactly what Sir George Fistonich did. He leased five acres of land from his father, planted one acre with grapes and started making wine under the name 'Villa Maria' which he chose because his friends thought it sounded European. Since those first cuttings took hold in the soil out in Mangere, near Auckland, Sir George has been determined to be at.. read more

Expert Reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2016)90+ pts

The 2016 Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Chardonnay is a plump, medium-bodied wine, offering aromas of vanilla and citrus and flavors of melon, pineapple and quince. The toasty, nutty oak is less obvious in this bottling than in the various Reserve Chardonnays, so if you're oak-averse, you may prefer this bottling.

Vinous/Antonio Galloni (2014)89+ pts

May 2016 - (from a stony, relatively warm site in the cooler Awatere area): Pale lemon-yellow. Pungent aromas of white nectarine and ripe grapefruit, along with subtle mineral nuances. Dense, tactile and suave, with the wine's 14% alcohol showing in its mid-palate weight. Seriously dry and classic for its ripe fruit but this Chardonnay will need another year in bottle to come into full focus, at which point it may well merit an outstanding rating. Finishes broad, dusty and seriously rich, with excellent length. -- Stephen Tanzer

Wine Spectator (2013)91 pts

Oct 2015 - Supple and creamy, showing lemon curd, vanilla pudding, dried chamomile, baked apple and honeysuckle notes, with toasty cedar accents. Juicy acidity adds vibrancy to the flavors, lending the long, detailed finish a refreshing quality.

James Suckling (2015)91 pts

A richer and quite creamy and spicy expression of chardonnay that has ripe melon fruits as well as a glossy clotted cream edge. Smooth and plush. Drink now.

Jamie Goode (2015)93 pts

Hand harvested and whole-bunch pressed to barrel, some wild ferment. Planted on the stoniest, boniest part of the vineyard. Delicate and expressive with some lemon and stonefruit, supported by subtle nutty, spicy oak. Real finesse here with good acidity and expressive fruit. Linear and composed with a bright future ahead of it.

Bob Campbell MW (2015)93 pts

Assertive, high energy chardonnay with citrus, grapefruit, fresh herb, toast, mineral and hazelnut flavours. A fresh, concentrated wine that is a little closed right now but shows obvious potential. Drink 2017-2023

Michael Cooper (2014)5 stars

The 2014 vintage (5*) was handled in French oak barriques (30 per cent new). Impressive from the start, it has concentrated, ripe stone-fruit flavours, a hint of matchstick, excellent complexity and a finely poised, long finish.

Raymond Chan (2014)19 pts

Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues. The nose is beautiful and harmoniously presented with rich aromas of mealy citrus fruits, creamy barrel-ferment, nutty and toasty oak, melded with butterscotch and lemon-curd MLF. Subtle gunflint nuances unfold. This is quite complete. Medium-full bodied, the palate exudes richness, with creamy oak and ripe citrus and tropical fruits integrated with nutty and buttery elements, the MLF showing prominently, The textures are extremely fine, and the mouthfeel poised with excellent acidity. This wine is crisp and taut in underlying line, carrying the richness to a very long and sustained finish. Clone 95 fruit from the ‘Taylors Pass’ Awatere vineyard, hand-picked and WBP, 40% indigenous yeast and fully barrel-fermented, the wine spending 10 months in 30% new French oak barriques, 90% undergoing MLF. 19.0+/20

Natalie McLean (2015)93 pts

A luxurious New Zealand Chardonnay from one of the country's most iconic producers. Smokey and toasty yet not heavy. Golden layers of orchard fruit on the palate. Pair with grilled chicken.

Miscellaneous (2016)4.5 stars

Cuisine Wine NZ - "All class from Taylors Pass once again from Villa Maria. It’s a flinty, zesty style, green-edged and citrusy in flavour profile and delicate in texture. The finish is fresh, generous and dry. You couldn’t go wrong pairing it with a beer-battered tarakihi or snapper fillet."

Vinification Notes

Taylors Pass Vineyard is located on a warm, stony terrace on the northern side of the Awatere River in Marlborough. This naturally devigouring site aids in a ‘tempering’ of yield. This coupled with extensive canopy manipulation and the clone, CL 95, provides fruit with excellent primary expression. 100% barrel fermentation including 30% new oak, a mixture of natural fermentation, the remainder inoculated with traditional isolated yeast strains. 100% malolactic fermentation, wine spending total of 8 months in oak.