It’s not often that one travels to a winemaking region by boat but then, it’s not often that I find myself in Auckland. So when an opportunity recently arose to take a ferry from the North Island’s largest city, to Waiheke Island, I jumped at the chance.
Waiheke Island is less than an hour from Auckland by boat and is home to some great wineries like Mudbrick, Obsidian Vineyard, Cable Bay and Man O’ War Vineyards, but one I didn’t visit but whose wares caught my attention, was the Soho Wine Co.
Soho was established only a few years ago by Rachel Carter whose family own three vineyards in different regions in New Zealand and who have been involved in the New Zealand wine industry for some decades. Their Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir were as good as you’d expect given their Marlborough heritage, but it was the Carter Chardonnay 2012 made from Waiheke Island which fruit for me, which was the star of the show.
The lively colour in the glass telegraphs the richness of the stone fruit flavours which lay in wait of that first sip. On the nose, there are ripe figs and a whiff of nuttiness, but once on the palate, the nectarines and peaches take prominence and erupt in a veritable tropical fruit salad explosion before a spicy edge and the fingerprints of French oak make their presence known.
There’s a stack of natural acidity which not only corrals the flavours into a tight and lasting finish, but which should also see the Carter Chardonnay benefit from a few more years in the bottle.
At around NZ$38 a bottle, it’s worth the hunt!
Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is managing partner of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers and lover of fine food and wine.