Helio Hawkes Bay Chardonnay, 2020

Tech Specs:
PH: 3.36
TA: 6.47
Alc: 13.61%
Residual Sugar: <1g/L
Date harvested: 9th March 2020
Bottle closure: natural cork 45mm (twice tested)
Bottles Produced: 3,025


Helio Chardonnay is grown on a north facing mid-slope, single vineyard on the Heretaunga plains. The infertile, free-draining, ancient riverbed soil is constructed of gravel and loess making for a divine struggle where the vines compete for nutrition and create the perfect fruit concentration. The average age of the clone 15 Chardonnay vines is quarter of a century. Like humans, vines really start to come of age at 25 years old, and just get better from there.


2020 Vintage:  classic hawkes bay vintage of dry, hot sunny days with cool nights.  This flowed through into autumn, where the days became cooler but remained dry, creating the perfect ripening conditions and yet allowing retention of natural acidity.


Helio Chardonnay was handpicked on March 9th, 2020 at 22.7 brix, and whole bunch pressed to barrel.

The wine was left to ferment with indigenous yeast. The cool wild fermentation lasted about 3 weeks.  Following our minimal intervention ethos, the wine entered natural malolactic fermentation on its own accord.  The 2020 Chardonnay was aged for 10 months in mainly old french barrels.  We intentionally bottled with no fining and minimal filtration.  A touch of SO2 was added at bottling to protect 24 months of work and ensure maximum enjoyment when opening for many years to come.

Tasting notes Chardonnay 2020

Beautiful pale golden straw in the glass.  A familial nose we find in this vineyard each year, ever so slight flintiness with a generous fruit profile, crunchy white peach and ripe stone fruit.  The chalky freshness comes through on the nose and serves the fruit on the palate.  Juicy stone fruit with citrus peel and white tannin create a lovely mouth feel that’s very refreshing.  The finish has an attractive bitter note with an almost spiced toasted finish that supports the lengthy texture.