Marathon Downs Up The Hill Chardonnay 2023


Nick and Jess have read the room with this new release Chardonnay, eshewing a big, built style for one that's elegant and fresh. Neatly packed with leesy, bready savouriness, wet stone minerality, a little texture and moreishly fresh acidity, this punches well above its price point. It's handpicked from a single vineyard in the Awatere Valley, and fermented and aged in seasoned oak.

Marathon Downs is a station in the Awatere Valley that’s been in the hands of Jess Barnes’ family since being drawn from the ballot. Of the 400 hectares, 38 are planted with vines. Jess and her partner Nick Pett are bloody delightful people, and they apply the extensive experience and talent they’ve gained working with other producers to great effect. The wines are stylish and playful but precise.