Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Reviewed: 25 July 2011

A strong line up of chardonnay and pinot noir has resulted in a number of worthwhile wines. The highlight for me was the Yerring Station pinot, a wine that is full of poise. At $38 it is not cheap, but it is worth a try. (Dan Murphy have it online for $32).

The wines from Robert Oatley are also worth commenting on. Both displayed generosity to the quality fruit and skilled winemaking. These are wines that can be consumed in the short term with pleasure. At around $25, they represent value.


Fraser Gallop – Chardonnay – Wilyabrup – 2010 (18). Forward, floral fruit with a hint of citrus and melon. This is a tighter style compared to the Oatley. It is long and refined, with a drying finish. Quality fruit and oak, with serious length. Avoid drinking now as this needs 3 – 5 years to show its best.

Robert Oatley – Chardonnay – Craigmoor AC1 Vineyard – 2009 (17.8). Lovely lemony fruit with subtle barrel ferment and lees effects. Creamy and seductive, the palate matches the nose, with flint and minerals to the fore on the (very long) finish. The charry oak is a touch dominant, but should settle.

Windows Estate – Chardonnay – Single Vineyard – 2010 (17.5). Very creamy, with well integrated winemaking inputs. Opens with peach and pineapple fruit, with a touch of mineral and curry leaf to add interest. The quality fruit has real length of flavour. Needs time to show its best. (Another really smart wine from this producer).

Devils Lair – Chardonnay – Fifth Leg – Crisp – 2010 (16.8). Floral nose with tropical fruits. Zesty and racy palate that hints at its chardonnay origins, but in a fresh and vibrant package. An excellent alternative to sauvignon blanc.

Yering Station – Pinot Noir – Yarra Valley – 2010 (18). More angular and precise nose. Beautifully weighted fruit that is more to do with sappy/savoury notes than bright fruit. The palate has excellent structure and mouth-feel, while the tannins are fine. Needs a few years to hit its straps, as this blossomed after sitting on the tasting bench for a couple of days. A very smart wine.

Robert Oatley – Pinot Noir – Mornington Peninsula – 2010 (17.6). Succulent, sweet and juicy fruit. This is at the ripe end of cherry, hinting at plum. There is also some tar, combined with earthy notes. The palate has more of the same in a soft and approachable style. Silky tannins and a touch of oak make for good early drinking. Good buying if you see it around $25.

Chard Farm – Pinot Noir – River Run – 2008 (17.5). Cherry fruit that is tight and focused. A complex wine. The fruit on the palate has excellent depth and balance. There is a slight astringency running through the palate and the tannins are fine and the oak supple. This is a powerful wine that has yet to reveal itself fully. Interestingly, this was preferred to its more expensive siblings in this tasting.