New Zealand winery releases a 2009 vintage of what it calls a ‘benchmark’ chardonnay

Church Road has released a 2009 edition of its flagship Tom chardonnay, following on from the 2006 original.
   The New Zealand-based winery had followed up its Tom bordeaux with the chardonnay some years back, calling it a ‘benchmark’ among ‘serious New Zealand Burgundian-style whites’.
   ‘Church Road Tom chardonnay is our flagship chardonnay named in honour of the late Tom McDonald, an early pioneer of quality wine production in Hawke’s Bay and the patriarch of the Church Road winery for over 50 years,’ said Chris Scott, senior winemaker for Church Road, in a release.
   ‘The wine is a barrel-by-barrel selection of the very best hand-harvested chardonnay parcels … Only the very lowest cropping blocks are considered for this wine, which in combination with gentle, low-intervention wine-making techniques produces wines with complexity, power and elegance,’ he said.
   Retailing in New Zealand at NZ$70, each bottle is individually numbered and hand-finished.
   Maintaining its exclusivity, the 2009 Tom chardonnay is available from the winery and selected fine wine retailers and restaurants.