We’re excited to announce that the 2016 Plume Chardonnay has won another Gold at the 2022 Chardonnay du Monde compétition, in addition to the Gold it achieved at the 2021 awards. In addition to two years running of Gold achievements, it was also the only wine from the entirety of New Zealand to be awarded Gold this year. This is an excellent accomplishment for our winemaker Chloe Gabrielsen and the whole team at Lake Chalice.
The Chardonnay du Monde Compétition
A competition is of international regard, it’s been running for more than 20 years from the Paul Bocuse Institute in Écully, France, with over 700 international experts on the judging panel. The Chardonnay du Monde aims to bring together the best Chardonnay from all over the world to showcase, disseminate information and support and promote diversity and scientific approaches within the making of the varietal. These men and women from all around the world are the “living knowledge of the chardonnay”.
Held at the picturesque Ravatys Castle in Bourgogne, France this competition is the creme de la creme of international Chardonnay accolades, with only a limited number of the very best wines awarded based on their intrinsic quality. Exquisite Chardonnays from more than 40 countries are tasted over a 4 day period in which the expert judges immerse themselves into the wines, emerging with a library of the worlds best Chardonnays, and our Plume 2016 Chardonnay has come out at the top.
Growing the Plume Chardonnay
The fruit was sourced exclusively from Peter and Anne Reed’s single vineyard in the Lower Waihopai Valley, Marlborough. The fruit was hand-harvested and then gently whole-bunch pressed to tank before immediately going to the barrel. It spends very little time in the tank – only hours, compared to days settling for our other parcels. The wine then goes through a wild primary fermentation, followed by a wild malolactic fermentation, where it is stirred on its lees before completion. It’s then left to settle naturally in barrel for close to 10 months.
Making the Plume Chardonnay
The Plume 2016 Chardonnay was the only submission from New Zealand to win Gold, a truly amazing achievement for us. Winemaker Chloe Gabrielsen describes creating this Chardonnay as a blank canvas. “We’ve selected only the very best barrels from within the batch. Each barrel adds a layer of complexity to the blend because we have so many components to choose from, adding different aspects of oak influence from the coopers, texture from oak or solids and flavour profile from the fermentations.”
Creating this special release Chardonnay was less work, more play. Aromatic notes of popcorn, roasted hazelnuts and spice are followed through on the palate along with a subtle flinty character. Silky and luscious with a fine acid drive and good length, it has a number of other accolades, with 4.5 Starts from Top Tastes, 19/20 Points from Candice at Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, and 94/100 Points from Bob Campbell MW.
This wine is a truly unique and very special drop, and has now been recognised with such high regard on the international stage, and we couldn’t be more proud. Congratulations to Chloe and the rest of the Lake Chalice team.