Lawson’s Dry Hills Reserve Chardonnay

Premium Marlborough wines of great character, quality and varietal expression. Lawson’s Dry Hills produce a benchmark range of Marlborough wines. Founded in 1992 by Ross and Barbara Lawson, their first vintage was just 15 tonnes and was managed by Ross from the old tin shed on the property, which is still standing and forms part of the winery cellar door. All the grapes for their range are sourced from Marlborough’s Wairau, Waihopai, Omaka, Awatere and Brancott valleys.

Their Chaytors Road vineyard with its free draining alluvial soils with a high proportion of gravel, produces consistently great Chardonnay. Once optimum ripeness was achieved , they handpicked and gently pressed the grapes into French oak barriques (25% new) for fermentation with wild yeast. The resulting wine is a grand melange of fragrant oak, bright citrus flavours and wonderful yeast derived mealy characters. The palate is full and round yet retains a focused acidity.


100% Chardonnay

Vineyard & Vinification Note

Winemaker: Marcus Wright/Rebecca Wiffen

Alcohol: 13.5%  


Vineyard and viticulture notes: The grapes for this wine are from our Chaytors Road Vineyard where coastal breezes, and moderate temperatures allow gentle ripening. This block is situated on the banks of the Wairau Diversion where the silts and river stones are a perfect combination for our 16 to 20-year-old Mendoza clone chardonnay vines.

Winemaker’s Notes: The grapes were hand-harvested and whole-bunch pressed. The juice was briefly settled before being racked to French oak barrels (25% of them new oak). The juice was ferment ‘wild’ and then left to undergo malolactic fermentation which softens the acidity from sharper malic acid to the softer lactic acid. The wine was racked from barrel and carefully blended prior to being bottled here at the winery

Cellaring Although delicious in its youth, this wine will reward the patient wine lover over the next four to eight years

Tasting Note

The nose shows lovely complexity with brioche, lemon, subtle floral notes, flint and smoky oak. The palate has a gentle power and focus from the fine, citrussy acidity. The predominant fruit character is lemon which is overlaid with chary French oak and mealy, wild ferment characters.

Food Pairing

Full-flavoured seafood dishes, chargrilled white meats, roasted chicken dishes, pork, roasted vegetables especially pumpkin, creamy sauces, richer shellfish, coconut-based curries, risotto, slightly stronger cheeses such as English cheddar, sweetcorn, roasted capsicum and more.