Cullen Kevin John Chardonnay 2007

Somewhat of a showstopper. To be sure, this is in some respects a no holds barred wine, with what appears to be plenty of winemaking contributing to its flavour profile. The nose shows an enthusiastic cascade of aromas, ranging from popcorn and butter through stonefruit, more tropical fruit notes, lemon, minerals, and plenty of toasty oak. I list this number of descriptors to give a feel for the amount of stuff going on here; there’s genuine complexity in both fruit and winemaking inputs, and as I smell this I’m reminded of why Chardonnay is often considered the greatest of all white grapes. Few varietals could take this treatment and come out looking good.

The palate is an absolute powerhouse, but what I like most here is that all its flavours are so cleanly, precisely expressed within an frame that is as contained as it is impactful. There’s something beautiful about power so tightly focused, and the way this wine unfolds in the mouth is its primary pleasure. As much sophistication as there is by way of individual flavours, there’s also a surprisingly louche side to the fruit here, pushing against a tropical, pineapple note that I found amusing in this context.

This will surely polarise drinkers, and that’s okay, because there’s great value in an unapologetic style made with skill and integrity.

Price: $A110 (restaurant wine list)
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Retail

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