A new Chardonnay – PJ’s first since 2014 – is a great reason to crack out the Charteris and celebrate this Kiwi who’s become a jovial giant of the Aussie wine scene while allowing his heart to reside in Central Otago.
It’s a single-vineyard Chardonnay from 2018, and hails from the VanderMark Vineyard perched 400m up in Bendigo. Its arrival comes at a time when PJ’s 2018 Central Otago Pinot remains a head-scratcher, offering unparalleled quality for its price in the realm of great Central Pinot. “It’s beautifully spiced and the cut of tannin is noteworthy,” wrote Campbell Mattinson of The Wine Front about this one. “I always like it when structure and spice stand out before fruit, though there’s nothing underpowered about the latter. It’s a most impressive wine.” Add to that a 97-point cellar-release Pinot and a “pristine kinda deal… delicious” Riesling, and you have a nicely rounded offer from the wide-smiling, generous talent that is Peter James Charteris.
2016 Charteris Hunt Vineyard Riesling $40
Delightful approach with honeyed apple notes, faint pastry characters, lemon blossom, lemon barley water notes. Palate has freshness, more precise citrus and green apple flavours, zingy acidity, clean lines and a good, long, mouth-watering finish. Pristine kinda deal. Delicious. 92 points. Delightful approach with honeyed apple notes, faint pastry characters, lemon blossom, lemon barley water notes. Palate has freshness, more precise citrus and green apple flavours, zingy acidity, clean lines and a good, long, mouth-watering finish. Pristine kinda deal. Delicious.92 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
2018 Charteris VanderMark Vineyard Chardonnay $54
Juicy ripe peaches and nectarines straight from the tree and the faint hint of orchard dust on a warm afternoon. Complexity and slate, dusty quartz and that ever so subtle sense of glacier dust that you get with proximity to the Southern Alps. Buried deep behind all of this is a very delicate floral Muscat note which is from the 809 clone. There is a glide to the entry, but some real texture through the mid-palate to finish which keeps the wine structured and persistent. The exit is textured and perhaps even a little staunch at the moment, but that gives presence and power, like Meursault. The acidity is completely woven into the core of the wine giving a subtle resonance.PJ Charteris
2018 Charteris Central Otago Pinot Noir $47
I tasted this among a range of pinot noirs and it stood out head and shoulders. You’re only as good as your competition of course but the truth is that the quality here sits firmly and squarely. It’s beautifully spiced and the cut of tannin is noteworthy. I always like it when structure and spice stand out before fruit, though there’s nothing underpowered about the latter. It’s a boysenberried pinot with smoke notes and florals. There’s both a ripeness and a juiciness to the palate but there’s also an emphasis on dryness. It’s a most impressive wine.95 points. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
2014 Charteris The Winter Vineyard Pinot Noir $75
Only 250 dozen produced and held in the winery for five years. From patches of deeper soil on the vineyard 36% whole bunch, 64% whole berry. Juicy plum and cherry fruit has a plushness along with the Charteris hallmark of elegance.97 points. James Halliday, The Weekend Australian June 2019