Wine Spectator 92 points, The Wine Front 93 points. "Powerful, gorgeous aromas of stonefruit - nectarine, lemon curd and a lovely hit of nutty creaminess. Though the wine is rich and ripe on the palate, the wine has a lovely fresh, zippy elegance to it - there's no flab or overripeness. Very good intensity. Long, lengthy finish - just seems to go on and on, finishing with a lovely satisfying fruity richness yet with minerality. Terrific Chardonnay. 93 points, drink now to 2025. (May 2016)." The Wine Front. An intense, mineral wine fully ripe but lean, taught and intense with savoury, creamy elements. Fragrant notes of orange blossom,...
Wine Front 94 points. "Bindi hasn’t put a step wrong in its dual-generation existence, and continues on a righteous path of unswerving attention to vineyard, gentle application of winemaking, great thought in every aspect of wine-vine life. Michael Dhillon would have to be one of the youngest professorial wine thinkers going around. Bindi’s legend and legacy is well on its way, as we know. Here’s another release to admire over time. A nice mesh of lemon lime, floral notes, peanut brittle, ginger in the bouquet. All understated, all good. Palate is light and juicy, bright, crisp, shows some good fruitiness, a touch of nutty savouriness,...
"Cask sample. 1988 planting named after a Lithuanian refugee who mentored Bill Dhillon at school and got him interested in wine. Picked on 4 April. Lovely energy and vibrancy. Chewy end but very promising." JancisRobinson.com, April 2018, 17+/20 . The Kostas Rind Chardonnay is grown in a 1.5 hectare plot. The wine is fermented in French barrels of which typically 20% are new. Fermentation occurs without the addition of cultured yeast and the wine remains in barrel on yeast lees over winter with only a small amount of malo-lactic conversion taking place. It is racked around eight months after vintage, and returned to barrel for a further...
The Wine Front 97 points, Jeremy Oliver 96 points. At the upper end of the Chardonnay planting, where the quartz incidence in the soil is the greatest the fruit has extra complexity, finesse and intensity. This wine comes exclusively from this soil. This area is approximately half one hectare in size. The characteristics are similar in the Quartz Chardonnay to the Kostas Rind Chardonnay but all aspects are amplified here yet remain in complete harmony. “This is a profound, deeply layered Quartz. There is lemon, white and orange blossom aromas intermixed with mineral, chalk, spice and mealy complexities. The palate is intense, full,...
Wine Front 97 points. "The juice goes to barrel straight from the press tray, with no additions of yeast, nutrients or enzymes. Once the juice is in barrel a small amount of sulphur is added and then we wait, usually about five days, for the fermentation to begin. The wine has spent 12 months on yeast lees in French barrels, of which 35% are new, and bottling took place early June. The hallmarks of wines from this vineyard are evident with lemon, lime and grapefruit aromas intermixing with mealy, nutty complexities. There are subtle aromas of white flowers working alongside that citric brightness. The palate is fresh, supple, rich, creamy,...
The wines from this vintage seem extremely fine and mineral driven. As more wines are released from this vintage you will see the approachability and elegance of a cool vintage for the Farr’s. The Wine Front 94 points. It’s a beautiful chardonnay. Tight, controlled, complex and distinctive. Stonefruits bound through lemon curd, meal, oak-spice and mineral. There’s a toastiness too, almost a charred peach character, though the flavours all come so immaculately packaged that trying to separate them is as difficult as it is unnecessary. The quality is high, the length impressive, its every step assured. Tasted: Aug 17; Alcohol: 13%;...
The Wine Front 95 points. The Chardonnay by Farr comes from the same site as the Sangreal Pinot Noir. It’s an exposed, hungry north-facing slope of red soil over limestone, planted in 1994, the vines a mixture of Dijon clones and P58. Fruit is picked by hand and whole-bunch pressed. All the solids are collected and chilled before being put to French oak barrels (30% new). Natural fermentation occurs over the next two to three weeks at cool temperatures. After fermentation, a bit of stirring helps start malolactic fermentation, which is usually completed by mid-spring. The wine is then racked, fined and lightly filtered before bottling 11...
"Power. This is a chardonnay of presence if ever there was one. It’s rock solid from start to finish but the boom of flavour as you swallow is quite something else. Honeysuckle, struck match, peach, melon and mineral with a toasty spiciness smattered throughout. The flavours aren’t the thing; it’s the impact and the reach. It makes no sense but it’s both coiled and booming at once. Give it time though; its best days are yet ahead." Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front - 96 points. The GC is for "Gary Charles". Winery Notes: The most exciting wine from this vintage with out doubt is the new “GC Chardonnay by Farr”. A new wine that...
'Much more subtle and complex than the regular chardonnay on the nose, which shows white peppers, dried nutmeg, cloves, dried citrus, white nectarines, cantaloupe melon and loquat. Full-bodied with a lovely interplay of assorted spices on the palate. There are citrus flavors running through the layers of tangy acidity and right up to the long, very mineral-driven finish. Wow. Irresistible now but better in 2025.' 95 Points - James Suckling
~ BUY ONE 6-PACK AND PAY $29 PER BOTTLE NET~ Nose is all about oatmeal, citrus oil and cinnamon. It is broad an generous on the mid palate and offers up melon, flint and nectarine. Drink now and for a couple of years too.
James Halliday 95 points. Estate-grown Mendoza clone, hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented in French oak (37% new), matured for 10 months with lees stirring, four barrels selected and blended for this wine. This is no shrinking violet, its intensity and drive are admirable, but there is no heat. We aren't told whether the four barrels were new oak, but it's a fair bet at least three were. The palate has a juicy quality that runs through the length of the palate, the solids fermentation working to perfection, as does the acid balance. JH.
The wine typically shows a soft perfumed nose, which begins to build. The palate has sweetness, followed by mineral overtones enhanced by toasty oak, and firm flavours with a long and savoury finish. This is a gem of a wine, with ageing potential of five to eight years from most vintages. The Farr Rising chardonnay sits next to the Farr Rising pinot noir vineyard. Unlike the black soil of the latter, however, the chardonnays' soil has a large proportion of grey loam. This vineyard is more protected than other sites because of its undulation, but fertility and growing levels remain very low. The clones used for the chardonnay are a mixture of...
Wine Front 93 points. The Farr Rising chardonnay sits next to the Farr Rising pinot noir vineyard. Unlike the black soil of the latter, however, the chardonnays' soil has a large proportion of grey loam. This vineyard is more protected than other sites because of its undulation, but fertility and growing levels remain very low. The clones used for the chardonnay are a mixture of Dijon clones and Penfolds 58, all planted in 2001. The fruit is hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed. All the solids are then collected and chilled before being put to barrel. The new barrel percentage of 20 to 30 per cent can consist of Allier and Vogue French oak. A...
James Halliday 96 points. Bright straw in colour. A complex array of fresh stone fruit and floral notes followed by under layers of raw nuts. The palate is vibrant with flavours of white peach and citrus leading to layers of biscuit and nuts. The natural acidity drives the wine to a long mineral finish. "Hand-picked, chilled overnight, free-run juice wild-fermented in second-used French barriques, matured for 10 months. A beautifully crafted wine that seems even lighter than its 13.5% alcohol, and which has absorbed the French oak. It is one of those chardonnays that will develop slowly, and never disappoint along the way. Stone fruit,...
95 Points, Special Value Wine - James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion "From four blocks in the Forest Hill and Highfields Vineyards, crushed, cooled, pressed direct to French barriques (30% new) for wild fermentation and subsequent maturation with partial mlf. Has very good mouthfeel and length, primarily zesty pink grapefruit flavours with some cashew notes."
James Halliday 96 points. "Gin Gin and Bernard clones 76, 95 and 96, chilled, whole-bunch pressed to French oak (20% new) for a cool, wild yeast fermentation (partial mlf) and 9 months maturation. This is a sumptuously rich chardonnay that keeps its belt tight thanks to all important natural acidity keeping off centre stage, allowing white peach and nectarine to joust with the grapefruit and melon flavours." JH. Bright straw in colour with aromas of pears, nougat and flint. The palate has flavours of fresh citrus and figs with zesty finish. The lees stirring has built texture and weight across the palate.
LANDING MONDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 96 points. 2016 Giant Steps Lusatia Park Vineyard Chardonnay Each of the '16 Giant Steps Chardonnays was vinified in exactly the same way (wild-yeast fermented in French puncheons, 20% new, no batonage, matured for 10 months), and each was bottled 23 Jan '17. The Upper Yarra Valley gives the wine a finely honed elegance, casting a spell on the mouth. It's very long, and very fine. James Halliday WAC 2018.
Top 20 wines of 2017 Decanter Magazine. 95 points. 2016 Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay This is typical of the Lower Yarra Valley; it has a particular flavour and texture on the back-palate and finish, with a faint honeysuckle/cashew note; on retasting (several times), grapefruit also struck a blow.James Halliday AWC 2018.
"This is rich, fine, seamless, quartz-like. It’s complex in an integrated way; no bells, whistles or alarms but plenty going on regardless. Grapefruit and white peach, spent matches buried into the fruit, a smoky mineralogy. It turns the power on but is long and gorgeous." - 95+ points, Campbell Mattinson OTHER ACCOLADES: Gold Medal, 2016 Yarra Valley Wine Show 95 points James Halliday 93 points Huon Hooke Winery Notes: Season: 2017 was a textbook cool climate vintage. The preceding winter was cool to cold (good vine dormancy) with good rainfall and ground saturation as the valley moved into spring. The growing season was characterized by...
"Slightly dusty, sulfury overtones over subdued fruit aromas. There's a nutty, almond or malty aroma note, while the palate is very dry and restrained, with good intensity and length. The sulfur could be subduing it just a little, especially on the nose. Still the quality shines through. This has more to give in time." 95 points, Huon Hooke OTHER ACCOLADES: Gold Medal, Royal Queensland Wine Show. Owned by Hand Picked Wines, Wombat Creek Vineyard is the highest altitude vineyard in the Yarra Valley, making it an ideal location for the production of extreme cool climate wines. The vineyard was originally planted in 1988 with the intention of...
The Wine Front 93 points. It’s a ripper drink. Shows pedigree of the top Giant Steps wines but delivers a wickedly drinkable, tangy, lemon-drizzled-apple-crunch of yummo chardonnay with enough pep and vigour (and faint salted nutty savouriness) to blast off on those warm, baking summer days. That aside, there’s spring to texture, light juiciness, a pucker followed by mouth-watering refreshment to close. No brainer for quality, bright, quietly complex but wholly guzzle-worthy chardonnay. Tasted: Nov 18; Alcohol: 12%; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2018-2025; Rated: 93 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front.
James Halliday 95 points. "From the exceptionally cool Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills, this chardonnay is deliberately restrained." - Winery "James Halliday - Published on 01 Aug 2017 A juicy supple wine with nectarine, white peach and creamy flavours gently filling the mouth, pear and apple also joining in on the back-palate and finish. The French oak influence has more to do with texture than flavour."
Jeremy Oliver (The Australian Wine Annual 2016) ~ 91 points ~ "The 2014 Chardonnay is a standout......Great value!.....Complex and mineral..... it’s smooth and creamy, with vibrant flavours of juicy melon, grapefruit, peach and creamy, nutty undertones finishing long and taut...." The fruit for this wine came from five different vineyards in the Yarra Valley: Sexton, Tarraford, Arthurs Creek, Quarry Ridge and Primavera. A moderate year but with an accelerated final stage to ripening due to some relatively warm nights. Fruit flavours are very much in the primary zone. Small crops with intense flavours, solid natural acidity - this hand...
James Halliday 96 points. From the dry-grown vineyard of John and Bronwyn Calvert in the heart of the Western District of Vic. Has the usual Farr stamp of complexity from go to whoa, yet also has great purity and precision. Grapefruit and green apple lead the band, oak simply a vehicle for the fruit to express itself. JH.
“The Single Vineyard range is an exciting development for McWilliam’s winemaking. Being site specific they showcase individual quality and personality, delivering wines of nuance and detail. This enables our viticulture and winemaking teams to push the quality and learn more about the terroir of each vineyard.” Andrew Higgins – McWilliam’s Premium Winemaker. WINERY TASTING NOTES Colour: Pale straw yellow. Aroma: Pristine grapefruit, green apple and white nectarine with complex notes of fennel. Restrained barrel-derived cinnamon and subtle struck-flint aromatics allude to the purity and intensity of this wine. Palate: Seamlessly...
2016 True Colours Chardonnay stone fruit| citrus | mineral | spice Vintage Notes “Vintage 2016 will be long remembered as the most compact growing season in living memory. A warm spring was followed by a warmer than average Summer but luckily we were spared from suffering through too many extreme over-40 degree spikes during the ripening period. The effect of this weather forced an acceleration of ripening but also a retention of fresh acidity due to the cool nights. It’s not surprising then to see ripe, generous characters on the 2016 wines”. Mark Nikolich - Senior Winemaker
James Halliday 95 points. "A particularly well balanced and focussed chardonnay, fruit foremost with a classic array of nectarine, white peach and grapefruit zest and juice; acidity and oak slot precisely into the fruit jigsaw, the picture complete in every respect." JH Aug 2017. The best Margaret River chardonnay you have never heard of. It is a little known fact that this small estate punches massively over its weight, especially when it comes to chardonnay. It has racked up a myriad of Australian and international awards. The secret? Maybe it has a bit to do with winemaker Bob Cartwright, who formerly stirred the lees at Leeuwin Estate.
James Halliday 95 points. Plenty of funk, plenty happening here in general. Stone fruit, melon and citrus wound in with barrel-ferment and lees characters, all in the right proportions. An attractive textural feel to the palate with nutty oak and flavours of pink grapefruit pushing through, the acidity quite brisk but in balance. Complex and still evolving.
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