Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2006 (Margaret River, WA)
If there ever was a prize for consistency in the Australian wine industry, like a wine merit award, then surely Voyager Estate must be up there with a chance. Across the board the wines show varietal character, regionality and depth, all at entirely reasonable prices, making the sort of wine styles that I personally enjoy. Complement this with an excellent cellar door experience, including arguably Margaret River’s best winery restaurant, and you have a definitive recipe for success.
So the release of this wine then was something to look forward to – from a brilliant (for whites), chilly Chardonnay vintage in MR and following the delicious 05 Voyager Chardonnay, this had already had runs on the board in my world. However, whats in the bottle is quite a departure from previous releases…
Very light yellow in colour, the nose is very closed with integrated, high end French oak mingling with a bit of yeast work to inflect the nose with a buttered sao character – a personality trait that I think I’ve noticed in previous vintages of this wine. I quite like it actually, but I dig a little Sao action (with real butter, cheddar & gherkins please) and enjoy the solid richness it injects into this wine. Still its a very closed and backwards nose.
The palate then is also very tight with citrussy high acid, grapefruit and a side serve of citrus, all bundled up in the acidity, with little dips of honeysuckle just poking through onto the tail. In truth the palate is a little lean and mean at present, with real grapefruit power in there down deep, but with such awkwardness that I didn’t even really enjoy the wine. Great power and potential, no immediacy.
So the score that follows then is more a measure of the structure (hence the double +) not as a drink now. Notably I saw that the alcohol was 13.4% on this, which just reinforces that this is one serious wine with serious ageing pretensions. Buy some, bury it away in a cold dark cellar and return to civilisation in a few years time. 17.5++