Lake’s Folly Hill Block Chardonnay 2011

After a fun day of work at Lake’s Folly, on the spur of the moment we opened all four of the Estate’s Chardonnays from 2011 and 2012. I took this one home for further, leisurely tasting with dinner.

It must have been interesting and somewhat daunting to contemplate introducing a new Chardonnay into the Lake’s Folly range, given the renown the traditional label has accumulated over the years. The only thing that would make sense is a different expression of the vineyard, a wine that says something new but that remains fundamentally connected to the Estate. It seems to me that’s what this wine represents and, while it’s a delicious wine in its own right, it becomes even more interesting in context.

While the traditional label is linear and powerful, with an emphasis on length and drive, this tilts the balance towards complexity of flavour. Clearly, there’s more input from the winemaker here, and the range of notes in the aroma profile is noticeably wider, the flavours themselves more opulent in tone. There’s a edge to this wine too, flavour-wise, that takes it into much funkier territory, with hints of leesy cheese and general savouriness. Despite this — and comparative tasting draws this out — this remains highly identifiable as Lake’s Folly Chardonnay, with the same purity of fruit and relative restraint.

The palate is both rounded and quite textural, and its delicate raspiness accelerates through the back palate where a lovely twist of herbal, gin-and-tonic bitterness cleanses the palate. In form, the wine is quite up-front, with less overt drive through the after palate than the regular wine. Acid is fresh and firm, and the palate structure is never less than shapely.

Given the task at hand, an excellent performance and a new insight into an historic vineyard.

Note: I’m currently assisting the winery during the 2013 vintage.

Lake’s Folly
Price: $70
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Gift

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