This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for New Zealand Chardonnay under £15 went to Marisco, The King's Legacy Chardonnay, Marlborough 2011 (13.5%)

Tasted against:

  • No other Golds in this category

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The name of this producer comes from the English ancestor of Marisco’s owner and winemaker, Brent Marris. William de Marisco was, so the story goes, one of 35 illegitimate children of Henry I. A few generations later De Marisco’s namesake fell foul of the Crown and was outlawed to Lundy Island, off Devon. He turned to piracy but was then captured in 1242 and hung, drawn and quartered.

Wisely, it was wine rather than piracy that attracted Marris, who can lay claim to being Marlborough’s first born-and-bred winemaker, graduating in 1983 from South Australia’s Roseworthy College a decade before the New Zealand wine boom.

Most of the Chardonnay for this Trophy-winning wine is grown on mature vines planted on the free- draining silts and alluvial loam soils of the warm Taylor River shingle fan, in the centre of the Wairau Valley; the balance is younger vine fruit from brancott. Marris’ assistant winemaker, Matt Mitchell says the aim was to create a New Zealand Chardonnay ‘supported but not dominated by winemaker influence – that speaks strongly to the Marlborough region’.

This is one of two Regional Trophies for Marisco this year, which also triumphed with a sweet wine.

Written by Decanter