The excellent 2007 Elston Chardonnay was whole bunch pressed and matured on its lees in barrel for 9 months. The nose is a little closed but then opens nicely with lush green fruit: apple, a touch of kiwi fruit and passion fruit. The palate is medium-bodied, smooth and waxy in texture with a lovely citrus undertow with apricot and a touch of pineapple towards the harmonious finish. This is a divine Hawkes Bay Chardonnay. Drink now-2014. John Buck OBE and his son Nicholas continue their hone their craft at one of New Zealand’s most respected wineries and winemaker Peter Cowley has fashioned a clutch of stunning wines in both 2008 and 2009. Both tank samples of their flagship Coleraine and Awatea 2009 are bona fide classics in the making, whilst their entry Woodthorpe range of wines offer a costcutting introduction to the delights of Hawkes Bay varietals without cutting quality.