99 points - Stuart McCloskey "Almost a repeat of my introduction from the 2013 vintage - “In short, this is one of the most astonishing Chardonnays which I have enjoyed for many years”, however the 2014 just eclipses the stunning 2013. A difficult wine to describe as superlatives do little, if any justice. Incredibly graceful, almost a weightless elegance, feminine, magnificently detailed bouquet which expresses minerality like no other US chardonnay. The palate is developing all the time with a core of minerality. Presently, this is a wine that is all about finesse and elegance, as flavours will develop with a little more bottle age. Utterly magnificent! (Please decant)."
95 Points - Antonio Galloni "Varner's Chardonnay Amphitheater Block is rich, ample and super-expressive. Lemon peel, almonds, chamomile, earthiness, dried apricot and sage meld together effortlessly. The 2013 Amphitheater is a classic Varner Chardonnay built on phenolic intensity and plenty of savory/floral notes that add nuance, while the fruit is pushed a bit into the background."
96+ Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown (erobertparker.com) "The 2014 Chardonnay Estate Vineyard reveals very pretty notes of peach blossoms and candied ginger over a core of nectarines, acacia honey, baking bread and marzipan. Medium-bodied with a silken texture and wonderful intensity of yeasty/savory flavors, it has a great frame of freshness and epic length. A beautiful, truly elegant style. "
95 Points – Bob Campbell "Unusually rich, fleshy Chardonnay in a mouth-filling and accessible style that makes a change from the rather more steely wine I expect under this label. Quite oaky with ginger, ripe peach, tree fruits and a hint of honey. A real surprise."
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “The wine demands some aeration and reveals a crystalline, mineral-driven bouquet with nashi pear, white flowers, oatmeal and a whiff of smoky sulphide. The palate is certainly complex with flavours ranging from stonefruit, lemon peel and touches of anise. Concentrated but at the same time supremely measured and seamless. The palate offers a lovely glossy texture and is incredibly satisfying. Flavours expand from citrus notes, limestone, smoked almond to more oatmeal. Everything is kept in check with a healthy wash of acidity. A wine of immense potential and will only improve with more cellaring (3-8 years). I love this. Served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware”. Our Wine of the Week - 26 April
97 Points - James Halliday "Hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed, cloudy juice wild-fermented in French oak (40% new), matured for 12 months. It's exceptionally fresh and pure, white peach and nectarine at its core. Roasted cashew and citrussy acidity dance around the core, creating a very long and crisp finish."
Vinorium Award - 2019 White Wine of the Year: Bronze
Steven Spurrier - “Eileen Hardy Chardonnay is, in my view, the Grange of Australian white wines”.
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “A stunning bouquet offering a profusion of aromatics ranging from vanilla, lemon zest, Seville orange marmalade, wet limestone to maritime salinity and finishing with freshly grated, spicy ginger. The wine has put on some weight with a lovely silky textural feel, but far from viscous. Harmonious and exquisitely judged to be succinct. Flavours are more difficult to pin down at this stage, but one thing is certain, it’s effortless and washes across my palate with consummate ease. I love the spice, salinity – very maritime which changes with more aeration. Fascinating is the wine's development in the glass. As I mentioned in my previous notes - This would shame many white Burgundies at double the price. This is simply a beautiful Chardonnay which offers more potential for those with patience. Just magnificent and for me, the best Chardonnay in our portfolio. The value is unbelievable. I recommend drinking this superb wine from now to 2028. Sampled using Zalto Bordeaux glassware” Tasted 9 May, 2019
91 Points - Luis Gutierrez (erobertparker.com) "The 2015 Bramare Chardonnay Marchiori Vineyard was sourced from 19-year-old vines in the Marchiori Vineyard in Perdriel, Luján de Cuyo. The hand-harvested clusters were pressed and the juice fermented with indigenous yeasts, with spontaneous malolactic and an élevage of one year in 50/50 new and used French oak barrels. This is always a ripe Chardonnay with pit fruit and yellow flower aromas, hints of honey and beeswax. The palate is round and lush, with nice ripe fruit and very tasty flavors."
97++ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Sourced from the very first planting of Chardonnay in the Adelaide Hills and continues to be revered as one of Australia's greatest Chardonnays. The current bottle price of $115.00 supports its domestic reputation. Struck match fades with a few minutes of aeration to reveal a whole spectrum of aromas ranging from confit lemon, sea spray, freshly squeezed lemon and lime, lots of minerality and a background of beeswax. The palate is flawless, everlasting with the weight and crystalline delineation of a Grand Cru Burgundy. It’s certainly not shy in coming forward but does offer enough restraint not to be too overwhelming. There’s a lovely satin texture with a killer line of acidity running through its core. More savoury than fruity with white toast, cashew and creamy chalkiness / oiliness which coats the palate. Harmonious and the little bottle age has done it wonders. Clearly, we should seriously re-consider our price! Drink now through to 2030. Served with Zalto Bordeaux glassware.”
Best Chardonnay at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards
98 Points - James Halliday "Hand-picked from specific rows, whole-bunch pressed to French oak for wild fermentation, and 9 months maturation prior to bottling. Rigorous selection of five barrels. Pale straw-green; this is remarkable as is the vibrant freshness and poise of the palate, the flavours running from pink grapefruit to white peach, the length admirable."
97-98 Stuart McCloskey “A powerful nose of lemon oil, white flowers, sweet pastry, leading to lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and wet stones. The palate is medium-bodied, crystalline and delivers finesse over power. Currently, a wine filled with tension which runs to its core. That said, and with the benefit of time in the bottle and glass, spicy, citrus and stone fruits unfold with more aeration. Even a tinge of heat coming from fresh ginger. Complexity is the greatest component with a ten-year cellaring journey ahead which will be fascinating to follow. It’s great to see a Margaret River Chardonnay which isn’t afraid to be expressive from the get-go. I would cellar for 3-5 years for that real “wow” factor. Sensuous, zesty and a finish which is everlasting. Brilliant winemaking…Served at warehouse temperature and using Zalto’s Bordeaux glassware. PS: Impatience has gotten the better of me as this wine arrived only thirty-minutes ago. In hindsight, I would decant for 20-30 minutes. I’ll resample in a few weeks which is not too much of a hardship.”