Clonakilla Chardonnay 2012, Murrumbateman, NSW
One from the office stash, forgot how much I paid. Pulled it to lift my draggy week. Solid as ever, the Clonakilla 2012 chardonnay exemplifies Tim Kirk’s wine crafting skills. A blend of high altitude fruit from Tumbarumba with single barrels from Clonakilla and Murrumbateman vineyards, whole bunch pressed, lees stirring and 11 months in French oak. Light yellow with a slight tinge of green. Vibrant nose, grapefruit and orange citrus notes, cashew puree and struck match. Reminds me of a warm vintage Chablis. A delicious wine, ripe grapefruit and mandarin flavours, doesn’t feel thin at all, rounded mouthfeel. 12% alc. The acidity is not prominent but is certainly in the back palate. Persistent finish. Great with a seafood chowder. Drink now – 2020. 94.
Stonier Chardonnay 2014, Merricks, Mornington Peninsula, VIC
Yup, it’s been that kinda week. Home and munching on Japanese peanut snacks, I reach for one of my go-to wines, Stonier’s chardonnay. As customary, this is a blend of tank and barrique fermented wine, creating an interesting layered drink. Light yellow colour, soft restrained nose of mandarin citrus, waxy lime leaves, warmed talc perfumed by white florals. High acidity, that sheer bite on the tongue is refreshing, yet perhaps that slight bitterness does take away from the soft fruitiness and residual minerality. The mouthfeel is tight initially, but gets rather broad too quickly. This would work really nicely with the thin lean winter oysters, not those fat creamy ones. Generous splash of Tabasco of course. Drink now. 89.
Montalto Chardonnay 2013, Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula, VIC
What the heck, good things come in trios yea? Another bottle, another year. My experience with Montalto is very limited. As in, I’ve visited once. Nice winery, nicely developed cellar door with fresh oven pizzas, beautiful expansive vineyards to wander by and appreciate the sculptures. But I recall wondering whether the pricetags were justified. 2013 was marked by a warm spurt towards the end of vintage, expect that ripe intense surge. So here goes. Light yellow colour, fragrant honeymelon and slight grapefruit notes. Young refreshing mouthfeel, zippy acidity, delicious sweet crunchy melon flavours with that residual citrus bitterness. Overall, an enjoyable solid wine to drink right now. Would I buy for $42 (current vintage 2014), erm…. hmmm.. Note that Montalto has three tiers of labels, Pennon Hill, Montalto ‘estate’ and singe vineyard wines.