Shaw and Smith M3 Chardonnay 2010

The other day, I found myself expressing the view that above all else, a wine should be delicious. Yet, tasting this wine, I feel that delicious flavours aren’t enough. There needs to be a sense of composition, a narrative, something overarching within which a wine’s flavours can be situated.

There’s no doubt this wine smells delicious; its aromas are those of a heavily worked wine, with oatmeal and cream pushing past fruit notes to take a primary role. These key notes are thick and prominent, communicating richness and signalling full, generous flavours.

The palate is where this wine’s story begins to falter. Flavours are, from beginning to end, quite delicious. Alongside mealy, caramel notes there is a strikingly fresh shot of grapefruit, tingling with sharpness and precision. It’s so crystaline that it seems to wander in from another wine, one that’s altogether less broad in flavour profile. And so the wine flips between heavy and light, neither side illuminating the other so much as coexisting in an uneasy truce. Each element would be lovely in the right wine, but as a composition the whole lacks finesse and balance.

Unusually for this label, a wine that doesn’t repay too much thought. I wonder if the sharpness of its fruit will subside, which I feel would be to the wine’s advantage.

Shaw and Smith
Price: $A77 (wine list)
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Other

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