Lively and tight, creamy. Really fine. Lots of grip.
The 2013 Estate Chardonnay offers notes of fresh peaches, pears and spiced apples with an undercurrent of baker's yeast. Light to medium-bodied, it is clean and fresh and yet with good primary fruit intensity, which should develop gracefully over the next 5-7 years.
16.5 Points - Jancis Robinson -
‘Lively green fruit and easy. What’s not to like?!’
The weighty mid-palate also shows peachy ripeness along with crisp acid minerality that gives the wine a refreshing cleansing quality. This wine is delightful as an aperitif, and even better to drink with fish and shellfish.
94 points (99 points for value) - Stuart McCloskey
Quite a shock if truth be known as the quality here is incredibly high (given the price, not Deep Woods excellent winemaking skills). The nose is a little closed at first but unfolds nicely after 5-10 minutes in the glass. The palate offers ripe fruit all perfectly balanced with citrus notes and minerals. Immensely appealing and quite a remarkable wine for so little money.
90 Points - Luis Gutierezz (erobertparker.com)
The just-bottled, screw-capped 2016 Felino Chardonnay was quite impressive. It's now produced exclusively with grapes grown in the Valle de Uco and was cropped from an unusual wet and cold growing season. It fermented with indigenous yeasts with full malolactic, with 15% of the volume put into neutral French oak barrels and bottled seven months after the harvest. It's very fresh and varietal, with a nose that mixes white flowers and fruit and a balsamic twist. The palate is fresh and sharp, elegant with very clean flavors, showcasing the minerality of the soils. Is this the finest Felino Chardonnay to date?
91 Points - Luis Gutierrez (erobertparker.com)
There is great purity and precision, a sharp Chardonnay with very little effect of the oak, just a spicy twist, a wine that incites you to drink with effervescent acidity that makes you salivate and cleanses your palate. Great, sharp Chardonnay.
91 Points - James Halliday
One hundred per cent chardonnay, spending two years on tirage/yeast lees, the wine has abundant peachy fruit, indeed more than expected, even though it was early-picked. There won't be too many complaints about that flavour.
"The 2013 Chardonnay is a fabulous wine for the money. Lemon oil, white flowers and white pepper are all laced together in an impeccably balanced, layered Chardonnay long on class and personality. The 2013 is a blend of fruit from vineyards in Santa Barbara County and Paso Robles, done entirely in steel, with no malolactic fermentation. It is also one of the very best values in California Chardonnay readers will come across." Antonio Galloni
Award winning Chardonnay, 94 Points from James Halliday and Trophy at the International Cool Climate Wine Awards
The Yarra Valley is possibly the ultimate region in Australia for growing Chardonnay. Add to that reputation Soumah's definitive vineyard site planted with the very finest clones and you have the perfect recipe for a modern age, premium Chardonnay.
95 Points - James Halliday
From the coolest sites accessed by Deep Woods in the region, wild-fermented in new and used oak. Grapefruit flavours ride high and wide on a palate with crunchy acidity and an afterthought of oak completing the picture.
93 Points - James Suckling
Showing impressive purity and focus right from the very first impression, this provides flinty lemons, yellow grapefruit and peach and melon fruits that all sit in perfect, harmonious layers on the nose. The palate's assertively flavored, meanwhile, with lemons, peaches and pineapple, as well as hints of creamed honey and just the right acid balance, which allows this wine to sit long and fresh. Oak is a mere subtext here; it's all about pure, fresh fruit.
92 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The 2015 Estate Chardonnay is more open-knit and less taut than the single vineyard wines, with an expressive nose of ripe nectarines, pink grapefruit and guava, plus underlying notes of baking bread and ginger. Medium-bodied, it offers richness and good depth in the mouth with a an approachable, refreshing backbone and great harmony.
17 Points - Jancis Robinson
Pear and tight and tense. Still very youthful. Tense and tight. Lively. Still very youthful.
Currently more Burgundy than Oregon but a further 12 to 24 months bottle age will bring this Chardonnay back home. Reticent at first, but then unfurling with a little aeration with subtle mineral notes, spice and flint. There seems more tension than previous vintages. I imagine richer notes will emerge over the course of the next 3-5 years.
94 Points - James Suckling
Bright and citrusy style with gently toasty oak in a modern guise. This has a sense of pristine fruit ripeness, opening to white-peach aromas and a flinty edge. The palate's smoothly crafted, and the acidity keeps everything attractive in terms of beautiful stone-fruit flavors that sit in a sorbet-like texture. So much great freshness and resolve.
The Eyrie 2011 Chardonnay is dominated by bright, juicy grapefruit and lime tinged with their piquant pips as well as with saliva-liberating salinity. Straight and penetrating as an arrow; amazingly buoyant (but then, there’s only 11.7% alcohol!). A streak of salinity serves to enhance the mouthwateringly sustained and invigorating finish. This outstanding value is apt to remain riveting through at least 2020 – a prognostication I venture with plenty of track record to back it up.
The Reserve Chardonnay has a complex nose displaying aromas of caramelised citrus and gunsmoke with finely balanced oak. The palate is generous yet delicate, with a silken texture and a lingering finish with a generous touch of acidity.
One of the original twenty-six Grandes Marques Champagne Houses, Champagne Ayala was acquired by the Bollinger family in 2005 and remains the archetype of a great Champagne House.
Domaine Méo Camuzet Hautes Côte de Nuits Blanc St Philibert 2011 Few of us can afford the great wines of Meo-Camuzet who, and deservedly so, is one of the undisputed superstars of Burgundy. The perfectly drinking 2011 Hautes Côte de Nuits Blanc St Philibert is simply a delight – Beautifully ripe, flowers, white stone fruits and pears are all layered into the silky, polished finish. Drink now.
91+ Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The 2015 Coddington Chardonnay is youthfully muted with subtle suggestions of lemon curd, lime leaves and grapefruit peel plus a yeasty, toasty, cedary waft. Light to medium-bodied, fine, fresh and delicate in the mouth, it delivers good citrus and yeasty notes.
17 Points - Jancis Robinson
Actually quite savoury on the nose. Then broad and almost rich. Still quite tight and minerally. Maybe not the densest. Dry finish.
94 Points - Sam Kim
As with all other Kumeu River wines, this is impeccably composed and elegantly expressed, showing nectarine, acacia, lemon peel and yeasty notes on the nose. The palate is superfine and beautifully weighted with creamy mouthfeel and elegant fruit intensity, wonderfully enhanced by subtle savoury nuances and perfectly pitched acidity. Very long and engaging, and hugely appealing. Grapes were hand harvested, whole bunch pressed, fermented using indigenous yeasts; then secondary fermentation in the bottle with 30 months on lees; disgorged by hand.
The NV Reserve Brut Rosé impresses for its depth and round, sensual personality. Layers of fruit caress the palate in this deep, resonant rosé. This is a fairly straightforward wine but it is impossible not to love the pure vinosity and purity of the fruit.
96 Points - James Suckling
This vineyard sits above Mate's Vineyard and has a combination of ripeness with vibrant acid-fuelled energy. The nose heads into some quite exotic territory, showing fine limes and lemon zest, floral and perfumed ethereal aromas and some richer orange fruits. The palate's succulent and curvaceous; it really offers fleshy impact on first sip and then whips into a taut, long finish. Clever wine from a great site.
A perfect introduction to the delights and complexity of real white Burgundy, this is mainly Côte d'Or fruit, together with some from the Maconnais. Fresh with lovely weight, delicate creaminess and judicious oak, making this a beautifully balanced dry white wine.
95 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The 2015 Hunting Hill Chardonnay displays a youthful restraint, yet nonetheless delivers an exciting array of stone fruit, pink grapefruit, ginger and marzipan notes with subtle hints of orange blossoms, crushed stones and lightly buttered toast. Medium bodied and tightly woven, is has a lively backbone supportting the generous flavor layers, finishing with great length and depth. As usual - just gorgeous.
17.5 Points - Jancis Robinson
Intense and smoky. Very dense and juicy. So captivating immediately.
This sensational St Aubin is beautifully balanced, delivering a poised and rounded palate with crunchy fruit and lively core acidity. It is clean with the pure fruit character of lemon and stone fruit shining through and on the finish a hint of spice. This is a serious wine with no shortage of minerality and will evolve and improve for a few years to come.
We have to agree with Neil Martin of the Wine Advocate "If you have never tried these wines, then it is about time you see for yourself what New Zealand is capable of".
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.
94+ Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The 2015 Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay is a cracking example of this vineyard/vintage, starting with a youthfully reticent nose of lemon curd, grapefruit juice and peach blossoms with hints of crushed stones, lime leaves and brioche. The medium-bodied palate is tightly wound with an electric backbone of freshness supporting the intense citrus and mineral flavors, finishing with great length. It needs another 3-4 years in bottle to really get into its groove.
18 Points - Jancis Robinson
• Gold - Royal Adelaide Wine Show 2016
• Gold - National Wine Show of Australia 2016
• Gold - Perth Royal Wine Show 2016
97 Points - Ray Jordan, The West Australian, Oct 2016
This remarkable wine has to be one of the buys of the year. It is the finest chardonnay Deep Woods has made and further evidence of how far this Margaret River producer has come. Effortless and refined, with multi layers of flavour. Deep, penetrating palate extends to an extraordinary finish. Subtle, roasted cashew with a creamy middle palate balance understated oak and fine grapefruit flavours. (Best drinking: now to 2023, Alc 13%).
92 Points - Antonio Galloni
The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvee de Reserve is a gorgeous wine that captures the essence of Chardonnay in the Cote des Blancs. Pure, wiry and wonderfully expressive, the Cuvee de Reserve flows gracefully with layers of varietal fruit from start to finish. This shows superb clarity, depth and polish, particularly at the NV level. The current release is 65% 2007 and 35% reserve wines from a solera cuvee that contains 15 vintages.
International Wine Challenge: Commended Winner 2012
96 Points - James Halliday
Light straw-green; a new level for Stella Bella, magically amplifying all the best features of the standard wine; all the standard top-end techniques are used for these two chardonnays, but it is how they are used that gives the finesse and purity both display.
94 Points - Antonio Galloni
The 2014 Chardonnay White Hill is bright, focused and finely cut. Lemon peel, white pepper, apple tart, pastry chalk and slate give the White Hill its distinctly chiseled personality. The White Hill offers lovely verve and cut to balance the natural richness of the Sta. Rita Hills.
95 Points - Antonio Galloni
Liquid Farm's 2014 Chardonnay La Hermana shows the class and pedigree of Santa Maria in its layered, deep personality. Bright and intensely saline, the 2014 really pops with intensity and flavor. Lemon peel, grapefruit, graphite, mint, white pepper and chalk notes build into the tense, vibrant finish. This is an especially vivid, expressive Chardonnay. La Hermana brings together fruit from Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills, two of the most pedigreed sites in Santa Maria.
Elegance is the key with a little sweetness, which is being supported by a fine vein of acidity. Wild flowers, honey, and lemon curd on the nose leading to a palate awash with poached pears, stone fruits, vanilla pastry and buttered brioche.
97 Points - James Halliday
The colour is still a pale quartz-green, the freshness excellent; the most remarkable part of this wine is its combination of finesse, length and intensity of varietal fruit flavour, in turn based on the laser etching of Tasmanian acidity. The drink to date may prove conservative.
Very pure and fresh on the nose, with vegetal and fresh lemon flavors along with the almost austere purity of the different terroirs, this is a rich and full-bodied wine. It is also a lean, fresh and firm, austerely mineral cuvée that still tastes a little bit green. But it does have a very expressive character. The finish is persistently long, salty and very promising. The mousse is absolutely delicate and the wine will gain creamier chalkiness and balance over the coming years
95 Points - Antonio Galloni
The 2014 Chardonnay Bien Nacido is all about precision, class and nuance. Even with all of the richness of the year coming through, the Bien Nacido retains superb precision and detail. The oily, waxy feel only adds to the wine's weight and overall texture. Chanin's Bien Nacido emerges from Chardonnay grafted onto Riesling rootstock that was originally planted in 1973 in the W-Block.
The 2014 Chanin Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay has a terrific purity and class. With aromas and flavours of white peach, stone fruits, white flowers and toasted bread it is elegant and balanced, with both richness and freshness - a classic, and beautifully made Chardonnay.
We adore Billecart’s zero-dosage Champagnes. Their NV is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir from three different years, sourced from the best sites in the region. Granted, it is dry but distinctly fruity with pear skin, orchard fruit and quince.
95 Points - James Halliday
Hand-picked, wild-fermented, matured in French oak for 10 months. Doesn't disavow its paternity indeed it embraces it with fruit, oak and acidity in a fluid line; flavours of stone fruit, fig and citrus each make their contribution, again respecting each others importance.
96 Points - Antonio Galloni
The 2013 Chardonnay Bee Block is the creamiest and most expansive of the three Varner Chardonnays. Pastry, lemon oil, honey, wild flowers and mint are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop in the glass. While the Amphitheater Block and Home Block could use another year or two in bottle, the Bee Block is already quite open and expressive. There is so much to like here.
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.
The 2014 Chardonnay Holly's Cuvée is a blend of the three Chardonnays made under the Varner label. Candied lemon peel, orange, mint and honeyed notes give the Holly's its rich, luscious personality. Drink this open-knit, generous Chardonnay over the next handful of years. The 2014 is a blend of 75% Bee Block, 20% Amphitheater Block and 5% Block.
The 2014 Chardonnay Amphitheater Block wraps around the palate with striking depth. Creamy, ample and expressive, the Amphitheater is all about texture. Orange peel, mint, graphite, candied lemon and sweet floral notes abound in this deeply nuanced Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. There is a lot to like here.
Almost a California version of Chablis in its piercing intensity until the fruit kicks in. But the weight and overall structure are very clearly those of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Lemon, flowers, white pepper and chalk are all nicely delineated throughout. Readers will have to be especially patient with the Home Block, as it is quite reticent at this stage.
94 Points - Lisa Perrotti-Brown (erobertparker.com)
The 2013 Chardonnay is exotically scented of guava, green mangos and pineapple with savory suggestions of marmite toast, buttered popcorn and roasted almonds plus a hint of struck flint. Medium-bodied with a gorgeous silky texture, it has wonderful purity and sophistication, finishing long and harmonious.
Enjoy your favourite wine the way it was meant to taste with these wonderful lead crystal creations from Riedel, which are shaped according to the character of the wine in order to enhance its rich, aromatic flavours.
97 Points - James Suckling
Made from original 1969 plantings and 1980 cuttings from the original vines at Yarra Yering. A highly individual style, reflecting its single vineyard origin A little ginger cream spice and texture from barrel maturation and fermentation add layers, depth and intrigue while the fresh line of acidity drives the palate prolonging the fruit flavour.