Chardonnay – New Release – May 2017
Barry Weinman: 25th May 2017
Margaret River is blessed to be able to produce world-class Chardonnay, and this tasting highlighted the quality of some of the top wines.
The real surprise of the tasting was the Madfish; great drinking and with serious fruit. Sure, my points may be a little generous, but at $18, who cares!
The only wine to make this review from outside of WA was the Shottesbrooke from the Adelaide Hills. A sensibly priced wine in the modern style (tight, angular and age-worthy).
Leeuwin Estate – Chardonnay – Art Series – 2014 (18.7pts – $110). Fresh peachy fruit on the nose, with a talc-like floral lift. This is so pretty! The palate is floral and fresh, yet there is a core of serious fruit running through. The structural elements on the palate are more pronounced, with the oak and a touch of struck-match minerality complementing the fruit on the close. Almost delicate, this is a charming wine that is only at the very start of its life.
Piero – Chardonnay – 2015 (18.7). Really fine and elegant. Curry leaf, minerality, grapefruit, hints of pineapple. Beautifully crafted, with high quality oak integrated into a near seamless package. The length of flavours is outstanding. A restrained wine that will age brilliantly, yet offers pleasure now.
Woodlands – Chardonnay – Chloe – 2015 (18.6pts – $80). Restrained and taut, the peach-like fruit is complemented by high quality oak. On the palate, pineapple and marmalade notes build, with just a hint of toast from the oak. Supple, with the power becoming apparent on the long, lemony finish. Great now, but will fill out with 3 – 5 years in the cellar.
Xanadu – Chardonnay – Stevens Road – 2015 (18.6pts – $70). Whilst modern, this is a powerful wine. The nose is an amalgam of high quality fruit paired to supple oak and measured winemaking interventions. The palate is refined, supple and elegant, with mid-palate generosity building. A youthful wine that would benefit from a couple of years to allow the package to come together.
Madfish – Chardonnay – 2016 (18pts – $18). Initially quite shy and restrained, yet possessing an almost ethereal charm which makes for excellent early consumption. Gentle minerality and flint, with supple oak adding to the mouth-feel. Develops nectarine and tropical fruit with air. Brilliant drinking at the price.
Shottesbrooke – Chardonnay – Single Vineyard – 2016 (18pts – $33). Lovely nose, with complex winemaking aromas and flavours, including struck match, flint and minerals. Fruit here is quite lean and modern, though it builds depth on the finish and is very long. Needs time, but should evolve. This McLaren Vale winemaker has produced a note-worthy Adelaide Hills Chardonnay.