Michael Hall Chardonnay 2011 (Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills SA)
12.8%, Screwcap, $40
After spending much of this week in Coonawarra (and drinking largely Cabernet, with the odd Shiraz or blend for good measure) this was a lovely palate refresher. A wine sorbet, if you like, in the best possible fashion. Grand wine for the vintage too.
This particular wine was sourced from from the Garden Block, located in the beautiful Piccadilly Valley, with a little fruit included from the cool and steep ‘Hill Block’ (3km up the road) blended in for good measure.
Speaking of the Adelaide Hills, if I was forced to pick any South Australian wine region to make wine, Piccadilly makes a strong case – it’s both beautiful, amazingly close to Adelaide and an exciting place to grow grapes (particularly Chardonnay).
As ever with Michael’s whites, this 2011 Michael Hall Chardonnay is precisely made: it’s whole bunch pressed and fermented wild in barrel, with 40% of the wine going through malo and all of it spending 11 months on gross lees in (10% new) barriques.
Fresh, very cool and just on the right side of ripe, this is a model of carefully made, refreshing Chardonnay. Perhaps a little lean and grapefruity for such ‘work’, but the wine ultimately drinks very well.
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Drink: 2013 – 2018
Score: 18.5/20 94/100
Would I buy it? You bet.
I'd never heard of Michael Hall (probably poor form for a South Aussie) until I picked this Chardonnay at a restaurant recently. I was really impressed too – and fortunately for me I was with a party of people who mostly turned their nose up at the idea of Chardonnay!