Skillogalee Chardonnay 2005

I don’t remember trying a Chardonnay when I was last at cellar door, but the empty bottle in the recycling bin proves there is indeed one in the Skillogalee range. According to the winery’s web site, there were 400 cases made from 1ha of mature (25 year old) vines. The nose is a throwback to the (some might say bad) old days of quite generously oaked Chardonnay, expressing as it does a whack of spicy, slightly varnishy oak ahead of more subtle Chardonnay fruit. I sat with the wine all evening and the oak continued to show prominently and ahead of any fruit-derived aroma. The palate is a continuation of this theme, with spicy, smoky and broad oak dominating reticent Chardonnay fruit of the yellow peach variety. I’m not opposed to a more worked style of Chardonnay that uses oak as a key flavour component, but a certain intensity of fruit needs to be present to provide balance, and I didn’t feel it was quite there in this wine. There’s some buttery richness that is, I presume, derived from malo, and acid is pretty soft. Finish is unremarkable.I wasn’t super impressed with this wine, as I kept wishing the fruit would step up more assertively to the oak treatment. As it is, a wine for lovers of spicy oak rather than Chardonnay fruit.SkillogaleeCost: $A20Closure: StelvinDate tasted: February 2008

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