September New Release

September New Release

Barry Weinman: 17th September 2023

The big surprise in this tasting for the panel was the superb Battles chardonnay. Not a label that we had tried before, but a great wine.

The Hutton chardonnays were a fascinating contrast between the powerful Reserve and the restrained elegance of the Triptych.

I have no idea who Toby Bekkers is, but his wines are very good indeed. Whilst the winery is on to the 2021 Syrah/Grenache, the superb 2017 is still available from selected retailers and it is a brilliant drink. At $100, it is not cheap, but it is a compelling wine.


Hutton – Reserve – Chardonnay – 2020. This is an impactful wine. Complex worked characters from the oak, barrel ferment and lees contact smell expensive, with curry leaf and minerality a feature. In the glass, citrus, white peach and lemon pith all develop. The palate is rich and complex, yet with remarkable restraint and control shown in the balance and mouthfeel, which translate into near seamless palate transition. This is a bigger, more overt style that will appeal to those who like a bigger chardonnay. Natural ferment, barrel ferment and aging in 25% new oak, malolactic fermentation. 13.4% alc. – 94-95pts.

HuttonTriptych – Chardonnay – 2021. Tighter and tauter than the Reserve, with more subdued fruit. But everything is in place and the fruit is of decent quality. For me, this is all about restraint and poise. Elegant, yet there is a subtle intensity to the fruit which slowly builds in the glass over time. A fine, if understated wine with nectarine. supple worked characters. minerality, fine acidity and excellent length. A saline tang on the close suggests this would be a good pairing with food. Wild yeast, partial malolactic fermentation, barrel ferment and 8 months in oak (33% new). 13.5% alc. – 94-95pts.

Battles – Chardonnay- 2022. The name is new to me, but the panel were full of praise for winemaker Lance Parkins. And I like this a lot. This is a wine where the sum of its parts is greater than the individual components. Quality, if restrained fruit and slick winemaking, but the impact is impressive. Texturing minerality and subtle stone fruit is supported by taut, yet fine acidity and texturing (yet invisible) oak. Superb drinking. Natural ferment and malolactic fermentation, 9 months on lees, 13% alc. – 95pts – $50. (Sold out at the winery, but still available in the trade).

Bekkers – Syrah/Grenache – 2017. Inky, dense and powerful, with chocolatey overtones supported by a chewy, textured mouthfeel. Plush, silky and intense, with great length and persistence. This just keeps lingering. An amazing wine, but not for the faint hearted. A traditional Aussie red, with firm tannins that keep the balance. 14.5% – 95pts – $100.