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.”
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.
Zalto Denk-Art Bordeaux Glass
Zalto Bordeaux glass is recommended for weightier style reds, probably our most widely used glass when tasting in house, this glass is great for many different wines. The large bowl helping aerate and soften tannins whilst accentuating the wines depth and concentration. The Bordeaux glass is the ideal choice for Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Bordeaux or Rhone style blends and many other red wines. Surprisingly, it is also the glass of choice for oaked Chardonnay as well, the shape of the bowl accentuating the balance of ripe fruits and oak.
Founded by Robert (Bob) Oatley AO BEM in 2006, Robert Oatley Wines is a family owned winery now run by the eldest son Sandy after his farther sadly passed away in 2016. The Oatley family planted their first vines in the late 1960s and although they have made their home in Margaret River, they also have vineyards in Great Southern and McLaren Vale from which they produce a trio of labels. The pinnacle of their winemaking is The Pennant range which is produced from the very best barrels, of the most prized vineyard blocks of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River and Great Southern. Bob Oatley, a fifth generation Australian whose family name can be traced back to the beginning of European settlement, has been an instrumental figure in Australian wine and was also well known for establishing Hunter Valley’s Rosemount Estate.
With the strictest of methods, the Robert Oatley team produce wines of great varietal and regional clarity. As much as possible, the vineyards are tended organically and the wines are produced with the absolute minimum of intervention with the upmost dedication to sustainable practices. The winemaking is left in the capable hands of Larry Cherubino who states, “Our constant pursuit of quality finds us among the great viticultural regions of Australia, each offering a unique combination of earth and climate, allowing vines to flourish and produce fruit with great balance. Hand harvesting, fruit sorting and intuitive winemaking delivers wines with clarity, purity, great texture and flavour expression.”
"The list of awards given to this tiny area in Australia’s most isolated region is endless and it’s no wonder that Margaret River is dominating Australia’s premium sector.."
Perched all the way over on Australia’s most south westerly tip is Margaret River. A region that accounts for less than 5% of Australia’s wine production but is responsible for 20% of the premium wines and the lion’s share of awards. Probably best known as the region that produces some of the new world’s finest Cabernet, Margaret River specialises not only in red and white, Bordeaux style wines but the region is also gaining a reputation for premium Chardonnays that rival some of the best found in Burgundy. Deep Woods have scooped up a multitude of awards across their range, including five gold medals and a staggering 98 points awarded for their Reserve Chardonnay 2017. Nocturne’s 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon picked up three trophies including Best Red Wine of Show. Watershed make no secret of their list of accolades, their labels crammed with gold medals and trophies and all but one of Flowstone’s wines have been awarded 95 points or above. The list of awards given to this tiny area in Australia’s most isolated region is endless and it’s no wonder that Margaret River is dominating Australia’s premium sector.
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