Tag Archives: chardonnay

Wirra Wirra 2015 12th Man Chardonnay: Wine Review

Oh the travels Chardonnay and I have been through over the years. Its been like globetrotting with a haut-couture model. There was the big oaky behemoths phase, then the skeletal stainless steel no-oak chardonnays, the natural-looking just a touch of oak phase.  No wonder the consumer still says ‘Oh, I dont drink Chardonnay’. They probably don’t know what to expect.

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay


Just to keep it interesting, the 2015 Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chadonnay takes a step away from the style of the 2013 12th Man Chardonnay.

The aroma of the 2015 12th Man leaps from the glass with good intensity. There are complex aromas of dusty straw, mandarin and citrus zest, ripe peach, and a creaminess. With an interesting hint of lanolin. On the palate it a delicate balanced between crisp white peach and stonefruit, fresh acid, but also lots of texture. A riper style offering fullness in the mouth, but still finishing clean and lively.

Is this a classically-styled oakier Chardonnay? Possibly, and the perceived oak does play a greater role than previously. Is this showing that winemakers love to play and tweek styles in an ever changing marketplace? Probably.

What are your thoughts? Has this found a balance between austerity and fullness?

Alcohol: 13.5%
Price: $31.50
Region: Adelaide Hills, SA
Source: Provided by producer

Riversdale Estate Crater Chardonnay 2011 – Tasting Note

Riversdale Estate in Tasmania’s Coal River Valley, has an emphasis on sustainability and (given previous vintages) consistency. Using water saving measures, encouraging insect loving bird species around the estate, along with many other vineyard management techniques. The previous vintages of this wine both achieved trophies at wine shows.Riversdale Estate Chardonnay

If you are a fan of reved up oak then this is going to rock your socks.  Packed full of fruit – vanilla aromas, citrus zest, and ripe stone fruit leap from the glass.  The palate displays luscious stone fruit, preserved lemon/lemon curd creaminess. Intense, but well balanced wine, which lingers on the palate. Able to stand up to ‘meater’ dishes. But I’d pair it with baked snapper covered in a beurre blanc sauce. Available from Riversdale Estate and Cellarmasters.

RRP $34.99
Alc 13.5%
Sample: Provided by Cellarmasters

Wirra Wirra 2013 12th Man Chardonnay: Tasting Note

Straddling the middle ground of Australian Chardonnays can be a difficult balance. The Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay is not as lean as some, nor as broad and flabby as others. Basically the Elle MacPherson of Australian Chardonnays – that is “well fit”. Showing elegance and grace, with curves in all the right places.

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay

The Chardonnay fruit for this comes from the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills Lenswood subregion. Lots of ripe stone fruit aromas, and some fresh citrus juice characters. A baked custard and biscuit aroma adding to the depth. Noticeable oak is balanced with the intensity of the fruit.

On the palate, its manages that middle ground very well.  Neither big and over blown, nor light and lacking.  More stone fruit, white peach, and vibrant orange/lemon freshness. Some roasted nut complexity. Subtle vanilla oak adds to the finish.

Alarmingly drinkable now, but will probably reward patience with a few years in the cellar.

Serve with Blue Swimmer crab linguine.

Also see the Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz and Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz.

RRP $31.5
Alc 12.5%
Region: Adelaide Hills
Sample: Provided by producer

Window Estate 2012 Chardonnay: Tasting Note

As you travel around the Margaret River wine region in Western Australia, the coast and the surf (and surf lifestyle) plays a considerable role in the environment and its culture.  Windows is the name of the local surf break, not far from Windows Estate’s vineyards in Yallingup.  The vines were initially planted in 1999 by Chris Davies at the age of 19.  However the Windows Estate brand has only been winemaking since 2006.  In that time this small premium producer has had considerable success.

The 2012 Windows Estate Chardonnay has been half wild ferment in French oak barriques.  On the nose I probably expected more wild yeast ‘je ne sai quoi’.  It still adds complexity without dominating the fresh lemon zest aromas, warm toasted coconut, and subtle vanillan oak.Windows Estate 2012 Chardonnay

On the palate the Windows Estate Chardonnay shows nice citrus and ripe melon flavours.  A little bit of grip keeps the texture interesting.  Nice acidity balances the subtle creaminess.  Lively, but not too assertive.

With this wine I think the perfect match would be pan seared scallops, with a little Asian influence.

RRP $39
Alc 13.0%
Production: 300 doz
Region: Margaret River
Source: Provided by producer

A Refined and Elegant Wine: Shaw & Smith 2012 M3 Chardonnay

The Shaw & Smith 2012 M3 Chardonnay is all restraint and waiting to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world over the next 5 to 10 years. It’s restrained aromas at present, with roast peanuts, subtle creamy lees.

Shaw & Smith 2012 M3 Chardonnay

On the palate the Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay is fresh and lively.  Definitely fruit driven with ripe stonefruit, pineapple and green apple. Lots of citrus and grapefruit, rounded out with smooth almond meal.  Subtle spicy oak, with whisper of creaminess complement the whole package.

The Shaw & Smith M3 continues to be refined and an elegant Chardonnay.

RRP $44
Alc 13%
Region: Adelaide Hills
Source: Provided by producer

Tasting Note: Leeuwin Estate 2010 Art Series Chardonnay

Restraint, elegance, refinement. This Art Series beauty has definitely been supported by one of the best finishing schools in Australia – that is Leeuwin Estate. They have let the natural Chardonnay assets come through, without appearing overworked by a cheap Bali plastic surgeon.

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay

The Chardonnay fruit is fine focused and intense, quite lean and lithe at this point in time. More citrus – lemon zest and pink grapefruit, with subtle roast nuts and warm spicy oak adding more weight and savoury hints. Generally I only have Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay with a few years of age, so it’s interesting to see its purity as a new release.

At first I thought they had changed the winemaking, but talking to Simone Furlong (Leeuwin’s joint Chief Executive) she advised that no major changes have been made to the Chardonnay. It is amazing how it develops and changes with time. One to be enjoyed over the next 10-15 years. Or while listening to the Leeuwin Estate Concert.

RRP $94
Alc 14%
Source: Savour Oz tasting