Fabulous Forrest Collection Chardonnay

Dr John Forrest (Photo: Restaurant and Cafe NZ website)

The Forrest Collection brand is winemaker Dr John Forrest’s pride and joy. It’s a quality without compromise range of small production wines that as well as satisfying, or perhaps stimulating, his competitive instinct, it provides the chance to experiment with small batches of the best grapes from a wide range of subregions in Marlborough, Central Otago, Waitaki and Hawke’s Bay.

It provides the chance to experiment with small batches of the best grapes from a wide range of subregions.

I was recently sent two Forrest Collection Marlborough chardonnays from the 2012 and 2013 vintages. Both are currently available.

The 2012 John Forrest Collection Chardonnay from the Wairau Valley is from a very good Marlborough chardonnay vintage, and is showing the benefit of a little bottle age with toasty bottle development adding extra interest to quite concentrated tree fruit, oak and nutty yeast lees characters. It’s probably not going to get much better but will continue to offer pleasure for quite a few years yet. The wine developed as it sat in the glass and is a good candidate for aeration. (NZD $50)

Finally, the 2013 John Forrest Collection Chardonnay, also from the Wairau Valley, was my preferred wine of the pair. Another excellent Marlborough vintage and some uncompromising viticulture and winemaking pushed its nose over the line ahead of its stablemate, thanks to a more ethereal texture and greater purity although the citrus, ginger and hazelnut flavour profile clearly linked it to the earlier wine. Lovely wine in top condition. (NZD $50)

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