Heemskerk Coal River Chardonnay 2006 (Coal River Valley, Tas)
The Fosters paradox - How can a wine company, in such terminal flux and confusion, still manage to pump out wines such as this, that are so contemporary, well packaged & good quality? The answer is that, in amongst the mismanagement, there are a great many mismanaged, intelligent employees (Look only to Peter Gago, Oliver Crawford etc).
A bright, pale yellow colour, the nose is mealy, faintly sawdusty, grapefruity & quite high toned. It smells like well made, new world, cool climate Chardonnay in an obvious, yet quality mould.
The palate is faintly peachy with some upfront fruit sweetness, leading to a quite lean, crisp, somewhat oaky palate that still feels quite tight & vanilla bean oak driven. The finish is high enough in acid, if just a little muddled, and continues to be attractive.
A good new world Chardonnay then, that certainly needs some time in the bottle, yet shows an elegance and restraint that works quite well here. I find the oak a little intrusive & the nose is nicer than the palate at present, but I like the wines general persona, packaging and general style. Good. 17.3+