Bell Hill, Chardonnay, 2008, North Canterbury NZ

Well I don’t know where I’ve been hiding since 1999, but today was my first (albeit not the last) encounter with the wines of Bell Hill.

Marcel Giesen and Sherwyn Veldhuizen are the couple behind these mystical wines. And for all you pessimists out there, is this yet another coincidence? A product that demonstrates such complexity, concentration and just an overall feel of Zen balance, is made by a producer obsessed with the vineyard and achieving the best results by nurturing the vines, soil and their environment. The results, a mere 851 bottle batch in 2008.

The proof being in the pudding. The site Bell Hill is not an easy area to work, so I’ve heard. Steep and almost too moderate in its climate, however all this along with its fantastic limestone soil can produce outstanding results when in the right hands. People that just appreciate what nature has given them.

If there is one thing that shows my picky side, it’s the use of oak. More often that not I find myself complaining about it. However the first time my nose hit the glass of this 2008 Chardonnay,  the comment to self was, and I quote ‘What a fantastic use of oak. Wow, what is this?’

Buttery richness. That salinity, that really gets your juices flowing. Blossom and Chamomile with nuances of lime-leaf and lemons. One could argue that it’s too young but I’d open up a bottle tonight, that’s for sure.

I could go on and on, but I wont. What I will say is check out their website, I have personally never come across such a transparent informative website. Its amazing, clone information et al. Check it out for yourself.

This delightful drop is currently available via Armit Wines, get it before it’s too late!


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