WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    100% Chardonnay
  • APPELLATION
    New Zealand
  • ALCOHOL
    13.00%
  • SIZE
    750ml

91pts Wine Enthusiast: Somewhere between honey and lemon in color, this Chardonnay shows off much of what is so good about the North Canterbury region. The nose is sunny and bright with tropical and stone fruit backed by nutty, toasty and floral aromas. The medium-bodied palate is focused with chalky textured but slippery fruit weight. Lifted acidity and bright fruit add tingly tangy character. Drink over the next few years on its own or with food.

90pts Wine Spectator: Firm and concentrated, with blackberry and blueberry flavors that mingle with muscular tannins, black tea notes and a thread of minerality that adds a savory element. Fresh herb details emerge on the finish. Drink now through 2025.

92 Points, The Shout, Cameron Douglas MS
90 Points, Planet Grape Wine Review, Catherine Fallis MS

TASTING NOTES 

With aromatics of ripe apple and white peach, our Chardonnay has a creamy texture that makes it easy to drink. Medium bodied with underlying notes of roasted almonds and nectarine confit, it finishes clean and crisp with a lovely persistent flint like minerality.

From the Winery: 2017 was a tricky vintage overall. Inclement weather lead to some of the fruit being picked earlier than preferred, however, fruit harvested later on was some of the best Chardonnay Mt. Beautiful’s estate has ever produced. Picking commenced on the 7th of April and finished on the 28th. All of our Chardonnay was handpicked in different batches depending on levels of ripeness. It was then gently whole bunch pressed which resulted in delicate fruit-driven aromas and good palate weight, while minimizing the extraction of undesirable phenolics. Once pressed, the juice settled for 24 hours before the clear juice was put (50/50 split) into tank and barrel (new and neutral oak) for fermentation. The barrel portion underwent partial malolactic fermentation. Both barrel and tank components were aged on lees for 10 months adding textural elements to the wine such as a scrumptious creaminess.

THE STORY TO KNOW

Mt. Beautiful Founder David Teece is the quintessential Kiwi: curious, adventuresome and utterly devoted to his home country. His family arrived in New Zealand in the 1860s from Shropshire, England, eager to seize fresh opportunities in a country undergoing a massive gold rush. They landed in Lower Moutere, an area known for hops, sheep and dairy at the time, but which has since become regarded as an excellent region for viticulture.

Being raised by generations of farmers shaped David's work ethic, resourcefulness and business acumen from an early age; being a New Zealand boy through and through instilled in him a deep love of the outdoors, along with the desire to experience everything this rugged, expansive landscape offered. “It’s almost impossible not to be outdoorsy when you are in New Zealand,” David declares, recalling times spent boating, fishing, hiking and the occasional hair-raising river crossing by what he describes as “hanging on for grim death” to a set of wires.

That rough-and-tumble New Zealand boy grew up to be one of the world's most highly cited scholars in business and economics. In addition to founding Mt. Beautiful Wines and Teece Family Vineyards & Farms, David J. Teece is the Tusher Professor in Global Business at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He is also the director of Tusher Center for Intellectual Capital. David has authored over 30 books and 200 scholarly papers, and he is co-editor of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management.

David's natural curiosity and ability to recognize options and opportunities also made him an excellent student. His love of a course called Economic Geography sparked his interest in both economics and geology. But, he says, “I have to give accidental credit to my brother who was studying a Leland Bach book on economics and left it open on the dining table when I was 16. I picked up his book to start reading and said to myself, ‘this is jolly good stuff.’” The incident ignited a passion for the study of Economics, which he majored in along with Geology at the University of Canterbury.

David would eventually have the opportunity to meet Bach, who became his mentor. The rest, as they say, is history, and David is now recognized by Accenture as one of the world's Top 50 Business Intellectuals.

But for a kid raised in the stunning natural landscape of New Zealand, a call to the land is, for David, "visceral." This love of nature, combined with his fervent belief that New Zealand makes some of the most captivating products in the world, evolved in David's mind as an opportunity to start a winery unlike any New Zealand had ever seen.

But where? As an Economist, David jokes that if something hasn't already been done, then it's likely not worth doing—and he wondered if for New Zealand, “the vineyard game was over.” Fortunately, David's friend Ron Sutherland was a geologist and vineyard consultant, and he had, quite literally, walked almost every inch of the northern part of the South Island.

David only wanted to plant in a place that offered something he couldn't find anywhere else and where no one had tried viticulture before. He and Ron started exploring, and about two years later, Ron called and said the fateful words, "I think I found something."

The general area was familiar to David, who had driven, biked and walked there during his University days in nearby Christchurch. “I was initially skeptical,” he recalls. “I remembered it as rather hardscrabble and hardly meritorious from a landscape perspective." But when Ron discovered 23 different soil types in this small area, plus an array of microclimates that could be utilized for very specific clones, the tables turned.

There were a lot of unknowns, but Ron felt strongly that this place had vineyard potential unlike any other. David weighed the idea. “The nearest weather station was three or four miles away and that’s inaccurate because of microclimates all over the vineyard. We didn’t have a good way of recording risk of frost or heat days, so we made rough approximations. But at some point, you have to decide are you going to collect information or put a stake in the ground first and take the risk?” The final answer was, take the risk.

The result is one of the most compelling winery stories to come out of New Zealand in the past twenty years. An internationally recognized scholar with a profound love of his heritage has applied the lessons he learned throughout a life of farming, study and achievement to build a winery destined to serve as New Zealand's most elegant ambassador to the world. He has poured every bit of his heart, soul and business savvy into Mt. Beautiful, attracting the best people, relying on only proven sustainable practices and crafting sublime New Zealand wines.