I’m throttling back to just one Chardonnay today for ChardoMay but never fear; there will be plenty more this month.
Up on the bench today is the Attwoods Garibaldi Farm Chardonnay 2020, which has complexity for the ages. I like it. Of course, I feel that this review should come with a caveat, as winemaker Troy Walsh is a Dookie classmate who does very good work (especially with Chardonnay). The Walsh family have just harvested the first fruit from their close-planted home block in Ballarat, having up to now relied on fruit from vineyards in Macedon Ranges & elsewhere in Ballarat.
It’s a pleasure to have followed the Attwoods vineyard from a long-held dream to reality (but we’ll just have to wait for the 23s).
Anyway, this Garibaldi Chardonnay is Ballarat fruit from a frost-prone 25yo block that the Walsh family took over a few years back. As ever with the Attwoods wines, this has a shitload going on – oyster shells, lemon butter and whipped cream, with this waxy reductive edge. The palate is a big wave of flavour – more of the waxy lanolin, yellow peach and this chewy phenolic finish. It feels fleshier and richer than you’d expected from say, nearby Macedon, but the brisk acidity and finish is a more classic cool clime feel. The woolly, reductive edges are divisive, but this has punch and swagger. 18/20, 93/100.
Also up tonight, in a different vein, was the Fontaine All Hops NZ IPA. While the promise here is something drinkable and bright, this ends up just a bit broad. Hay and peach, it’s a juice NEIPA-lite style with a pleasant creamy palate with straw and stonefruit. Ice cold it works, but it gets a bit nutty and blah as it warms up. Maybe a bit aldehydic? It’s ok, but wouldn’t buy again. 3 stars.
Finally, there is a mountain of enthusiasm at present among local wine producers about the mooted dropping of tariffs on wine into China. While this is a very good thing (especially given how much juice there is in tank), the ever-thoughtful Dudley Brown points out in this article how the reopening of our most lucrative trade market might not be the silver bullet it once was.
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