The 2022 Chardonnay Rays Road is restrained and reticent. It’s certainly not a fruit bomb of a Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay with its pithy precision, slightly salty, flinty character and buzz of nervous acid tension. Rays Road is generally less opulent than most, and the austerity seems to be a character of the site, particularly from the first few vintages. Nevertheless, full malo and 11 months on lees adds texture and padding to the mid-palate. Pear, honeysuckle and melon fruit ally with subtle spiced cedar, which nods to the older French barrels used for fermentation on the medium-long finish.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2029