Salo Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2010

Made in tiny quantities, lots of whole bunch action, an apparent passion project; this is practically collapsing under the weight of its own cred. What’s gratifying, therefore, is its relative subtlety. The nose, especially, starts almost mute, gradually releasing aromas of flint, oatmeal, linseed oil and, eventually, some white stonefruit. It’s never especially expressive, and I do wish for a bit more volume (in time, I think), but its complexity is undeniable.

The palate is powerful and quite masculine in character, as if a taciturn character gives way to a muscular bulk it just can’t hide. A sharp, clean entry broadens to a middle palate awash with fruit and savouriness. Peaches, herbs, minerals. The standout dimension is texture, and I love the way this wine moves over the tongue with a deliciously tangible, mealy texture. Intensity is impressive, but it seems to trade some definition for all its power and complexity. Everything here points to a focused articulation of flavours, but just before the money shot, it loses concentration and blurs its form. Reasonable people can disagree about whether this is desirable; personally, I yearned for it to go all the way and express each of its components with crystal clarity.

A very interesting wine.

Price: $A40
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Gift

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