I tasted today through five Australian new release chardonnays, all blind, with prices ranging from $22 to $68. The average quality level in Australian chardonnay is very good indeed if you are able to spend $20 or more per bottle. The cooler climate regions of the Mornington Peninsula and Orange shone more brightly than the warmer regions, and Ten Minutes by Tractor’s Mornington Peninsula McCutcheon chardonnay shone brightest.
Huntington Estate Mudgee Chardonnay 2017
This wine has restrained aromatics that remind of lemon, pear and talc. The palate is dry, with firm acidity, a medium to full body, some depth of flavour, a heated spice expression and a medium length, warm finish. Rating: Acceptable to Good. Abv: 13.1%. Price: $22. Source: Sample.
Rowlee Single Vineyard Orange Chardonnay 2016
This wine has pronounced aromatics of lemon, nectarine, cedar and, initially only, smoke and struck match. There is some evidence of oak. The palate is dry, with medium to firm acidity, medium to full body, long length on the finish, and a mineral and crystalline character. From a hitherto unseen label, this is good drinking. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $40. Source: Sample.
Ten Minutes by Tractor Chardonnay McCutcheon Single Vineyard 2015
This wine has restrained aromatics of almond meal and cedar and a golden colour in the glass. There is evidence of good quality new oak. The palate is dry, and the acidity quite linear and zingy. It has refined bones of lemon and minerals, a medium body, good length and quite a subtle bearing. This is an outstanding chardonnay release, and I was not surprised to see this very good producer’s name on the reveal. Rating: Very Good to Outstanding. Abv: 13.8%. Price: $68. Source: Sample.
Pig in the House Organic Chardonnay Cowra 2017
This wine presented with unusual and pronounced aromatics that reminded of dust and green capsicum. The palate is medium to full bodied. There is a roundness to the acidity, but it is not portly. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 13%. Price: $25. Source: Sample.
Heggies Vineyard Estate Chardonnay Eden Valley 2015
This wine has restrained but primary fruited aromatics of stones, almond meal and lemon zest. There is some evidence of oak and the acidity is quite zingy, spritzy and almost a little hard. The body medium to full and the length quite subtle but persistent. This is a good chardonnay. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $31. Source: Sample.