Chardonnay, let alone Hunter Chardonnay, is hardly at the vanguard of vinous fashion, so one could be forgiven for greeting this Scarborough wine a shrug. It pays to remember, though, the Hunter has a special place in the history of Australian Chardonnay, and continues to be the home of two of Australia’s more sought after peaches: the Lake’s Folly white and Tyrrell’s Vat 47. Scarborough is something of a Chardonnay specialist, having earned an enviable reputation for this varietal, so I approached this wine with high expectations.
The nose is fresh and clean, showing aromas of butter, peach, a little bit of minerality, perhaps a herbal twang and some smokey toast. Complex, then, but its buttery balance speaks more of enjoyment than analysis. I like that the oak is subdued, the wine appearing to rely more on fruit character and other forms of winemaking input (some lees work, I suspect) to achieve its aroma profile.
The palate takes a step up in expressiveness, being quite rich and full-flavoured. Entry is strikingly flavoursome, a nice spectrum of peach, citrus and butter notes caressing the tongue and paving the way for a middle palate that is quite flooded with fruit. The flavours are very clean at this point, showing good definition and shape, supported by easygoing acidity. I feel this wine’s textural dimension, though, isn’t quite balanced, being too reticent and consequently somewhat overwhelmed by the fullness of the fruit flavour. I’d like to feel a bit more mealiness on my tongue on the mid-palate, which would add more sophistication to the palate structure. The after palate does offer a bit more in this regard, and this helps carry the wine through a finish that seemed a bit hot to me.
Lovely fruit here, made in a gloriously unfashionable style that I admit to enjoying more often than not. It’s not over the top, simply generous and warm. Very well priced.
As always, an interesting post on Chardonnay. This may not be as high in quality as few Chards around the $20 mark, but it has its points of difference, as I believe you have made reference to. Man cannot live on Hoddles Creek alone, so to speak. Or at least this man doesn’t want to 😉
I enjoy buying a bottle of this from time to time. A good wine at a very fair price IMO.