Bridgewater Mill Chardonnay 2005 (Adelaide Hills, SA)
The sooner we stop making wines like this, the better. It's everything that is bad about Chardonnay and the sort of style that turns people off. What's worse, is that I think that the fruit underneath is top quality stuff.
Perhaps it is just me - I'm feeling a little jaded after too many lacklustre Chardies of late, but as soon as my nose hovered above the glass, I was immediately turned off.
A yellow straw colour, the wine smells like oak - cheesy, grainy oak, mixing obscenely with some yeasty lees overtones & bottle aged Chardonnay fruit to form something sweet and derived. The palate is more attractive, with a rich, round mouthfeel with some nice fruit acidity towards the back end. But all the good work comes undone at the finish - with an intrusive, ugly wood chip flavour that is oak tannin at its worst. Yuk. Worse still, this has had an extra 12 months in bottle for everything to integrate, & the oak still sits on top like a growth. Disappointment plus. 13.8