Vasse Felix’s Heytesbury Chardonnay from 2009 appears to be among the new very taut style of Australian chardonnay. A pale-medium intensity lemon in colour, its aroma is initially quite reductive and gives away little. With time, a low-medium intensity fragrance of lemons emerges and intermingles with a flinty note, followed by peaches, and then a delicate touch of oak. The palate is tight and taut, between medium and pronounced intensity of flavour, with oak, white peaches and white nectarines set to an ever present lemony background, and medium length.
The wine is a little hard to love, although it is a complex wine, because it is just so restrained: it reminded me more of a middling Macedon region chardonnay than one from the Margaret River which is capable of so much with the chardonnay grape. Whether this apparent trend to leaner styles is an approach that should be adopted regardless of region and potential, I doubt. Nonetheless, the wine is complex and worthy of attention. 87 points (very good)
Vendors: try http://www.nicks.com.au
Tasted: March 2012