There is so much good Australian Chardonnay around and this is one that you should try. Ripe stonefruit, soft oak and spice meld together with a pleasing intensity and richness. There is a lovely balance to this wine that walks a fine line and not afraid to show its more savoury side ending with a hint of toast. Enjoy with a fluffy cheese roulade wrapped around a smoky chorizo filling.
Date: March 2013 Price: $25 Value: $$$ Drink: Now – 3 years
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Next time you are in the Hunter Valley, why not go just that little bit further and visit the Broke Fordwich sub-region and to a cellar door evocative of Provence. The Windrim family have created one of the more scenic retreats in the Hunter. One that also has the benefit of being biodynamic with a focus on creating wines needing minimal intervention. Apart from this Chardonnay, look out for their fresh zesty Semillon, fresh juicy Wild White & Wild Red blends and a pale pink rosé made from Mourvedre.
This particular Chardonnay is hard to find but is well worth the search with only 150 cases having been made. The way the texture of this wine plays through the palate is a sure indication that this is not the run of the mill style of Chardonnay. Pressed in a Basket Press, fermented with wild yeast, the wine then spent 12 months in an unusual egg shaped tank with a portion in French oak. The philosophy behind the shape of the tank is to gently keep the wine moving so there is no need to manually stir the lees.
This has created a very soft but still fresh Chardonnay. The ripe grapefruit, the type that is naturally sweet without being tart, is overlayed with floral and spice notes. Fine natural acid and an elegant body shapes the mouth into a smile that lingers rather than a pout.
Enjoy it over the next few years or now as a fine choice for your festive dinner this year.or with some nutty pear & brie tartlets.
Date Tasted: September 2012 Price: $37.50 Value: $$$
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A soft, fruity, modern chardonnay that will fit the ticket for a week night dinner with friends. Creamy melon and stonefruit fragrance lifts in the glass and the palate is round and ripe finishing fresh, soft and juicy.
Enjoy with a flaky pastry chicken and tarragon pie and fresh garden salad.
Date: March 2013 Price: $18 Value: $$ Drink: Now
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Here is a feature wine from Mistletoe’s Nick Paterson, one of the Hunter Valley’s Next Gen winemakers that you can catch on their 2013 Caravan of Courage tour at a location near you:
Mistletoe’s winemaker, Nick Paterson is currently the Hunter’s crowned Winemaker of the Year (2012) having grown up on his family’s small boutique vineyard Chateau Pato. This month, he is touring with his pals from the Next Generation Hunter Valley Caravan of Courage proving that the Hunter always has something fresh on offer.
The spicy citrus and stonefruit has a floral lift. Whole bunch pressed, 100% barrel fermented and matured in new and old oak gives a creamy nuttiness gives the wine depth, richness and texture. Firm but generous length that finishes on a dollop of cream. A versatile wine to enjoy with grilled chicken salad sprinkled with pine nuts.
Date: April 2013 Price: $40 Value: $$ Drink: Now – 3 years
Read more about Nick and the other Next Gen winemakers here.
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Here is a feature wine from David Hook, one of the Hunter Valley’s Next Gen winemakers that you can catch on their 2013 Caravan of Courage tour at a location near you:
This is one of the very first 2012’s that I have tasted. And it was bottled on the 7th March (you might ask why I was so late!) In talking with David Hook, I was not surprised to discover that this is a big hit at cellar door, and everywhere else. He has been perfecting it for decades – that this is the 20th Anniversary of this wine.
David has got the balance right. There is plenty of pleasure in the juicy ripe citrus & pear, almost honeydew melon fruit with some nuttiness to round it out. Like a classic vespa, it zips across the palate with fresh drive making sure its presence is felt long after it enters, but without the broad footprint of a car.
I think that this should be a staple for your fridge. It will offer zesty refreshment even in winter when I would take it out of the fridge for a little bit before pouring & drink with a smoked salmon angel hair pasta while planning your escape from the cold. Buon appetito!
Date: 11th May 2012 Price: $18 Value: $$$$ Drink: Now Now Now – 2 years
Originally posted: 23rd May 2012 - Tasted again April 2013 and it is still looking fresh and feisty!
Read more about David and the other Next Gen winemakers here.
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