I was looking forward to seeing Hugh Crichton again. We had done a dinner together in London a few years ago and his wines really impressed. He trained as a winemaker at Plumpton College, then gained experience in St Emilion, Central Otago, Gisborne and Italy and has been Vidal’s winemaker since 2006. They are renowned for their powerful Legacy Chardonnay. Vidal wines are some of the oldest in New Zealand, started by Spaniard Anthony Joseph Vidal who bought an acre of land in 1905. They were bought by Villa Maria in 1976. Vidal’s winemaking facility has just been moved to the Te Awa Estate in Gimblett Gravels, bringing new challenges however Hugh also sees advantages of having several winemakers under the same roof.
The wines are tiered from Estate, Reserve, Soler to Legacy
Vidal Sauvignon Blanc 2019
From fruit in Awatere Valley more grassy herbaceous cool than warmer Wairau Valley fruit which can give more tropical flavours Gently pressed and cool fermented lees ageing, Lovely texture, passion fruit, acidity, classic Marlborough style
Vidal Estate Chardonnay 2018
Citrus stone fruit and vibrant acid
Vidal réserve Chardonnay 2018
From premium Hawkes bay sites, Keltern, Kokako and Lyons. Flinty smoky buttery partial Malo, partial wild yeast lees, aged lovely soft texture.
Vidal Soler Chardonnay 2018
Fruit from Ohiti valley low crop 10 months on lees with regular stirring, reduced nose, Full bodied Chardonnay, oak toast brioche smoke minerality butter 100% wild yeast great length full body + lovely Chardonnay
Vidal Reserve Syrah 2018
Gimblett Gravels 800 hectares Omaha And Twyford alluvial gravel with silt and sand free draining low vigour low yields natural and green harvesting keeps warmth in the night. Floral red fruit nose loganberry perfumed (2% Viognier co ferment)
Vidal legacy Syrah 2014 from decanter
Black pepper, blackberry spice, perfume soft dry tannins, fresh natural acid good balance delicious wine