Another chapter in my ongoing mini-fascination with this wine, which on release seemed so full of potential yet reluctant to convey pleasure. Two years ago, it had begun to show signs of relaxation, and in August 2011 it continues to slowly unwind, release its secrets and allow me in.
Tertiary characters haven’t advanced markedly in the intervening time, a light caramel note remaining the key indicator of age. What has changed, though, is the grip this wine exerts on its sensual dimensions. From an uncoercible stranglehold to more expressive muscularity, this is finally starting to celebrate its gorgeous primary fruit: grapefruit, white peach and fresh herbs.
The palate simply explodes with intense fruit flavour, remarkably fresh in character and precise in expression. It amazes me that a mid-priced Australian Chardonnay could taste so new at five years of age; this has a vibrancy many wines would covet on release. It’s the crispness of iced drinks in summer, cool beads of condensation on a glass, the tingle of salt and lime taken together. Indeed, it feels odd to be drinking this wine on a Saturday evening. In its current state, this would ideally be enjoyed well chilled in the pursuit of staying cool on a hot day. Except that framing it as pure refreshment is hopelessly reductive; it has qualities that point clearly towards the high end. The palate is now quite full without losing focus, oak is well integrated (though still abundant), the finish long and pure.
This is just getting started.