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This Week's Whites 17th August 2019

I had the opportunity to try a couple of interesting chardonnays this week.

Salo Wines Chardonnay 2018 Yarra Valley $44

Salo is a partnership between Dave Macintosh (Arfion and other Yarra Valley projects) and Steve Flamsteed (winemaker extraordinaire at Giant Steps – I am a massive fan). Their MO is to find great fruit and do very little with it between picking and bottling. Understandably they have developed quite the cult following.

Dave Mackintosh & Steve Flamsteed

The result is pretty extraordinary, the nose is a delight almost classically Yarra Valley Chardonnay. Some sulphur (struck match) opens proceedings, then notes of almost ripe peach follows. The palate is wonderfully textured and long with a slightly rich creaminess. Flavours of citrus first and then stonefruit dominate the palate, think grapefruit, nectarines and white peach. Still quite young I think this wine will be at its best in about 2-3 years. Carefully avoiding drinking will reward the patient among us.

Precipice Wines Willow Lake Chardonnay 2018 $34

I am a big fan of Marty Singh, I first came across his Chardonnay at a Young Guns of Wine tasting about 3 years ago. His Chardonnay impressed then and continues to impress.

The 2017 vintage was extremely taut and took quite some time to soften and open up and reveal itself. Careful cellaring has been rewarded!

The 2018 is different, it is opening up earlier and is quite soft by comparison. The nose offers mealy nutty notes combined with a hint of struck match and grapefruit. The palate is all citrus, with pink grapefruit evolving into lemons then oranges. Acids are prominent but hold everything together, an indicator that this Chardonnay will age nicely. Great drinking now but again time in the cellar will reward you. Match with grilled seafood, shellfish or a nice fatty noodle dish.

Vanguardist V Chardonnay Adelaide Hills 2018 $50

This is a lean and defined Chardonnay, probably the leanest I have tried this year. This style of Chardonnay is rare but when done well like this one, it’s very good. Michael picked early, virtually at the first stage of ripeness but in doing so has delivered a well-defined Chardonnay.

With colour of light hay, you could confuse this with any other Chardonnay. With notes of struck match, nectarines and grapefruit pith on the nose, there is an evolution into a really soft palate that shows flavours of lemony citrus and unripe nectarines. With a soft creamy finish this Chardonnay is a real delight to drink.

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