Stonier KBS Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 (Mornington Peninsula, Vic)
$50, Screwcap, 14.5%!
From the (notable) McFaul era of Stoniers history, this single vineyard Chardonnay was purchased at the cellar door about 2 years ago, with the intention to stick it away for, hmm, about 2 years. Quite happy to have a few more on the rack actually after this bottle.
This smells like buttered popcorn. Very distinctive and tied with fond memories of pashing girls up the back of my local Hoyts Megaplex (back when it was just a little Hoyts) cinema. As this warms up, the buttered popcorn just gives way to vanilla oak and peach – drink it cold for maximum enjoyment. Beyond this, the palate presents as rather artful and complex – it has the mealy, slightly chewy, oak and fruit melange that good Chardys do so well. Dare I say it, this tastes quite Burgundian in its flavour complexity and density, with sweetness of oak, leesy cheesy overtones and lemon fruit underneath. Wonderful complexity. In fact the only negative here comes towards the back of the palate, and its all hooked in with that 14.5% alc level. You see, its the ripeness that is both the source of the glory, as well as the thorn in it’s side. It’s a caramel lolly blandness, followed by alcohol heat, all serving to remind that the grapes got not only ripe, but ripe.
Stepping back, this is a very complex and rather delicious Chardonnay, showing the complexity and interest that you really want in your Chardy, let down, if only slightly, by the very thing that makes it right – ripeness. 18.2