Chardonnay – New Release
Barry Weinman: 31st January 2016
John Streicker, a New York based entrepreneur, has gradually been building a stable of older vineyards across the Margaret River region. This culminated in the purchase of Clairault winery in 2012. Bruce Dukes who had been making the Streicker wines at Naturaliste Vintners, was entrusted with the production of Clairault wines following the acquisition.
I recently reviewed the Streicker Shiraz and was impressed by the quality of both the fruit and winemaking. The Chardonnay also proved to be an excellent wine.
There were a number of other excellent wines reviewed including the great value Bond Road Chardonnay from Hollick. This is a wine that is drinking a treat now.
Ultimately, the wines from Flametree (SRS) and the Arivina were my top picks, though both would benefit from some time in the cellar.
Arivina Estate – Chardonnay – Wildwood Ridge – Reserve – 2014 (18.5). Very fine, high quality fruit on the nose, showing supple peach and nectarine. Tight grained oak on a palate that is very long, yet quite restrained. A lovely drink, with mouth-watering grapefruit acidity driving the finish. (RRP $55).
Flametree – Chardonnay – SRS – 2014 (18.5+). Barrel ferment characters on the nose that express as struck match and just a hint of curry leaf. The complex palate is full of grapefruit and melon characters, with taut acid. The oak is very fine (expensive) and adds depth to the finish. A superb wine. (97 Pts from Halliday). ($56 from Dan Murphy).Streicker – Chardonnay – Ironstone Block – 2012 (18.2). Complex aromas with hints of struck match, minerals and creamy lees notes. Pineapple fruit sits underneath. The palate is powerful and very long. The smoky notes from the oak complementing the fruit and lees work well. A bigger style, but also very very good. (RRP $41).
Cherubino – Chardonnay – 2014 (18+). Supple and fine, with stonefruit over citrus and melon notes. Long, the grapefruit acidity and tight knit oak define the finish. Needs a couple of years to settle down, but will be long lived and gain complexity along the way.
Grosset – Chardonnay – Piccadilly – 2013 (17.9). A more restrained style, with fresh fruit and acid. Quite modern, the winemaking influences present more as textural components rather than overt flavours. Long, with grassy, melon and grapefruit flavours, with a touch of smoke to close. Delicate and balanced, but this needs time to show its best (and score higher points). (RRP $55).
Note: A bottle of 1998 Grosset Chardonnay was drinking superbly recently.
Hollick – Chardonnay – Bond Road – 2013 (17.5). Creamy, with complex nutty notes. The fruit is quite rich and accessible on the palate, with decent texture and lemony acid. There is good length and hints of toast on the finish. Excellent drinking now.