Cumulus Climbing Chardonnay 2006

I’m not terribly familiar with wines from the Orange region in NSW, but there’s no time like the present to become acquainted with new friends. I picked up this bottle on the way home as accompaniment for chicken salad.The aroma of this wine reminds me in a strange way of moderately aged Hunter Semillon. It’s an intense yet subtle nose that wafts out of the glass slowly. A mix of white stone fruit (more stone than fruit) and some astringent greenness, a bit like honeydew without the sugar. There’s also a pleasingly offbeat nuttiness that reminds me of roasted pine nuts. Entry is quite powerful, with intense and slightly clingy fruit flavour coating the tongue from the tip onwards. Although it’s a lively, acidic wine, the emphasis is on forward cool-climate Chardonnay fruit and some nutty oak. Flavour is generous, yet it’s a focused wine that retains its shape through the palate. The after palate emphasises nutty, caramel oak as it moves to a decent finish. This won’t be to everyone’s taste, especially not those who favour a more worked, broad Chardonnay style. But for me, it’s a characterful wine that goes well with food or on its own. Good value. I should also mention the label, which is stylishly individual and always stands out in the retail lineup.Cumulus WinesPrice: $A18Closure: StelvinDate tasted: February 2008

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