On release, I gave what now strikes me as a rather lukewarm impression of this wine in my original writeup. Its firm acid structure prompted me, at the time, to put a few in my cellar for a rest, and I’m now tasting this again for the first time in three or so years. Of all the wines one might age, an $18 Australian Chardonnay wouldn’t be considered a sure bet. Indeed, the question of whether any Australian Chardonnay can productively age still pops up now and then. I’ll leave that debate to those more patient; for now, I have this wine in front of me and I do believe it’s better than it was as a fresher, younger wine.
As with most things vinous, the point at which one prefers to drink a particular wine is very much a matter of taste. So, to help you decide whether your stash of 2006 Hoddles Creek Chardonnay is ready for you, I’ll observe that this wine is in the initial stages of becoming more complex and, at the same time, more relaxed. The acidic nervousness I originally noted has mellowed to allow a looser, more expansive movement over the tongue. Flavours, which at first seemed so citrus and oak dominant, now express more cohesively, are perhaps harder to separate from one another, are certainly more numerous. There’s an especially delicious honey note that is just starting to emerge on the after palate. This will never be a fat, old fashioned style, but it’s starting to inch towards a fullness of palate weight and flavour profile that, to be honest, pleases me a lot more than a simpler, tighter style, especially given the inherent power of the Yarra Chardonnay flavour profile.
More of everything except edginess and simplicity; I like.