100 Points - Robert Parker "My notes essentially read the same every year, even though the bottlings are non-vintage and I taste the most recent releases. Consistency and greatness are the norm at this Rutherglen winery. The average age is 7-10 years for the regular cuvees, about 70 years for the grand cuvees, and the ancient rare cuvees date back to soleras from 1890. The Muscadelle (Tokay) reveals caramel, toffee, fig, prune, raisiny notes, an incredible, unctuous texture, and amazing zesty acidity which keeps it from being cloying. It is redundant to keep repeating the same tasting notes, so readers will have to take my word for it ... this is one of the world’s most remarkable dessert wines, and is worth every effort to latch on to a half bottle or so."
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98-99 points Stuart McCloskey "Marine, saline, oyster shell with touches of green apple, orchard flowers and a lovely streak of minerality on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied, bright, alive with a slight chalkiness. There’s a lovely fabric to this wine. Tightly knit with subtle fruits interwoven with a tension which I find difficult to express in words. More a sense of completeness. The simplicity is quite breathtaking and rare to find these days. Tensile, reserved and unapologetically a personal expression of Paul & Gilli who are obsessed with producing wines which they love, rather than following fashions. I believe this to be one of those wines which will create much argument. Those edging toward flamboyance may show disdain, whereas those wishing to seek out ethereal balance and gracefulness will be swooning. I would argue this must be one of the greatest exponents of Australian Chardonnay I have come across and cannot wait to see how this individualist wine unfolds over the coming years. Regardless of which camp you stand in – May I suggest you, at the very least, try a Tassie Chardonnay which flirts with perfection (if only once). Decanted for 20-30 minutes and served using Zalto Bordeaux glassware (as essential as the wine!)"
94-95 Points - James Suckling "A bright and flavorful white with sliced apple, pear and mango follow through to a full body, crisp acidity and lively finish. Lots of white peaches too."
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. "
The aromas and flavours invoke impressions of ripe stone fruits, such as nectarines and peaches, supported by hints of tropical spices, passionfruit and lycees. There is a backbone of tangy lime- and lemon-like citrus fruits which add a zesty “nervosity”. It has a spine of minerality and crisp acidity which keep it tight-knit and focussed, drying out its lingering after-taste.
98 Points - James Suckling "Intense aromas of white pineapple, lemon peel, white peaches and stones with a seashell undertone. Full-bodied yet still agile and vivid, showing beautiful mouthfeel and length. Salty at the end. Love the finish. Pure and unique. One of Tuscany's top whites from the island of Giglio. Made from ansonica grapes."
China Wine & Spirits Awards: Gold 2018
95 points - James Halliday "A decidedly complex bouquet with some reduction and a hint of fermentation with cloudy juice. This feeds into a palate of similar complexity, slatey minerality adding its contribution hand in hand with oak. To 2025. "
Winemakers notes "Pale straw. The wine exhibits lifted nectarine and white blossom characters. A suggestion of cedar-like oak frames the generous stone-fruit characters and complex chipped shell minerality. The palate is clean and lively with tremendous depth of ripe stone-fruit flavour nuanced by cashew notes. Bright citrusy acidity ensures a long and seamless finish providing enhanced structure and length."
95 Points - William Kelley (robertparker.com) "From one of the oldest vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley, Paul Lato’s superb 2016 Chardonnay le Souvenir Sierra Madre Vineyard reveals attractive aromas of yellow orchard fruit, citrus zest, peach and honeycomb. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with more textural glossiness than the Belle de Jour, underpinned by bright acids and concluding with an intense, chalky finish. This is quite structurally tight-knit right now and will need a couple of years in the cellar to blossom."
This season, with its long Indian summer, produced a wine with what we believe to be a particularly interesting future. On appearance its bright straw hue almost sparkles. Blossoms, wet river stones and an expansive medley of yellow peach and grapefruit aromas anticipate what is to follow on the palate. Powerful grapefruit, talc and a compote of other fruit flavours are sustained in a distinctly taut structure.