Marking great Chardonnay is something akin to walking a delicate tightrope - fall too far one way and you’re back in the butterscotch-filled 90s, too far the other and you’re sipping battery acid. Here I’ve found a wine that is perfectly poised on that line.
This wine comes from the famed Rathmines vineyard at Echunga in the Adelaide Hills. Many of the top Hills makers are chasing this fruit, as it gives rise to the perfect combination of flavour, balance and texture.
The standout 2021 harvest was handpicked, then whole-bunch pressed directly into seasoned French oak barrels for fermentation with wild yeasts. The wine was then racked and returned to the same barrels, where it gently matured including partial malo-lactic conversion, again with wild yeast. Finally, the wine was bottled with minimal handling to preserve its pristine characters.
The result is sublime. A true expression of variety and place. Subtle stone fruits, with hints of lemon pith and delicate spice. The palate is lightly textured, with lovely balance and a savoury finish. A wine that is irresistible right now, but will reward the patient with gracious development over the coming 3-5 years