2021 Clark Estate “Penelope Jane” Chardonnay


The 2021 Penelope Jane Chardonnay is a beautifully balanced and powerful wine. Lovely citrus and nectarine flavours are perfectly integrated with hints of oak to create a fresh but complex wine.

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The 2021 Penelope Jane Chardonnay is a beautifully balanced and powerful wine. Lovely citrus and nectarine flavours are perfectly integrated with hints of oak to create a fresh but complex wine.

Bronze Medal – The National Wine Awards of Aotearoa NZ


93 points / 5 stars            Sam Kim, Wine Orbit

Delightfully elegant and restrained, the wine shows nectarine, lemon peel, oatmeal, cashew and nougat nuances on the nose, leading to a finely focused palate delivering excellent fruit purity combined with stylish complexity. Wonderfully structured and lingering. At its best: now to 2027.


90 points / 4 stars            Bob Campbell MW

Attractive, fruit-focused chardonnay with white peach, pineapple, biscuit and vanilla flavours. Soft-textured wine with a good balance of alcohol sweetness and tangy acidity. A well-made wine offering value at this price. Drink 2022 – 2027


92 points Premium            Cameron Douglas MS

Lifted, bright, fresh, youthful, fruity and varietal with aromas of red apple and white peach, vanilla and a light white custard, some floral sents and mild oak quality. Youthful on the palate with a fresh acid line contrasted by white and yellow orchard fruit flavours. The vanilla and spice along with a satin cream texture layer in complexity and charm. Ready to drink from late 2022 through 2028.


93 points / 5 stars            Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

Bright, even pale straw-yellow. The nose is softly full with an elegant expression of apple, citrus melded with a hint of spice and creamy lees autolysis. Medium-full bodied, expressive on the palate, apple, pear, citrus have concentration and a savoury edge, prickly spice enlivens the palate, along with lively acidity, creamy flow and a subtle bready element linger to a long, elegant finish. The fruit is ripe with a depth of flavours and concentration, harmoniously supported by acid precision. Creamy mouthfeel adorned with a light chalky texture. This is an elegantly presented Chardonnay with harmonious fruit and barrel elements, fine-textured and a long, lingering finish. Match with grouper and pork loin over the next 5+ years.



Our Chardonnay vines are still young, growing in an area with more stones than soil.  Each year the vines have to survive through harsh frosts, strong winds and stony soils. As a result, yields are always low as the vines divert their energy into surviving rather than producing a heavy crop.  The low yields combined with the long growing season of the Upper Awatere valley intensifies the fruit flavours ready for harvest in late March.




Our style of Chardonnay is driven by the cool climate of the Awatere Valley and the use of older oak barrels.  The subtle oak flavours integrate beautifully with the citrus and lighter stone fruit flavours of the fruit.  Once ferment is complete, the wines are kept in barrel for several months maturing on the yeast lees.  Before bottling, the wines undergo Malo-Lactic fermentation, although this is kept to around 30% so as not to dominate the final wine.


Wine Analysis


pH        3.31

TA        5.74 g/L

Alc       13.5%

RS       0.4 g/L


Penelope Jane is one of the founders and matriarch of Clark Estate.  Mother to Sarah, Jennifer and Simon, and wife to Peter.  Ever since planting the first vines, Jane, as she is known, has wanted a Chardonnay to call her own. So, it is fitting that the wine made from our Chardonnay vines, where they have had to work hard and battle the many challenges but end up beautifully refined and elegant, take on the name of Penelope Jane Clark.

Our single-vineyard Chardonnay is beautifully balanced with delicate citrus and stone notes, lightly integrated with oak flavours to create a wine that has both finesse and power.

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