Golding Lil’ Late Harvest Chardonnay 2009 (Adelaide Hills, SA)
A late harvest Chardonnay? Why not! If anywhere has a chance of making something special from late harvested Chardonnay grapes, then surely the Adelaide Hills would be it. This particular wine was produced from grapes that were left out until mid May, with a fermentation that left behind some 105g/l of residaul sugar.
It’s a rather chubby wine this, perhaps reinforcing how challenging it is to get a grape like Chardonnay to perform well as a dessert style. The nose is lightly raisined, with pineapple and honeycomb richness, with some oxidative sweatiness in there too. No botrytis evident, though the grapes were clearly looking a little worse for wear when they came into the winery. Palate too is softly sweet, honeyed and fat, loaded with glycerin and creamy peach fruit. It ultimately sits a little awkwardly on the palate, finishing short and looking generally overripe, though a seam of acidity cleans it up through the finish.
I’d call the Lil’ a little overripe (as in a product of out of condition grapes) personally, but I like the intent. Top options wine at the least. 16.3/87