New Chief Winemaker Julian Grounds was an inspired if slightly avant-garde choice after the previous sets of steady hands that had driven Craggy’s reputation for very well mannered, classical wines with no edges, with a strong following amongst those who enjoy the slightly old school luxurious vibe of the Prestige Collection. Julian is clearly mindful of the pedigree and weight of expectation attached to the Prestige range, seeking to make changes slowly rather than a lurch into the unknown, but it’s also clear from the wines that he’s brought a new energy.
Winemaker Jannine Rickard’s Instagram is not for the faint-hearted but does give very good insight into why her personal label has been called Huntress. This is her second release of wines under this label, a subtle, smart trio that is well-formed and food-friendly. Fruit is sourced from a number of vineyards in Gladstone and Wairarapa.
The recent arrival of a couple of high profile 2018 Hawke’s Bay chardonnays piqued my interest and I thought it might be interesting to add a couple of other 2018s from different regions. It turned out to be a mini masterclass in the stylistic debate that has been raging around chardonnay the past few years.