|Nepenthe Ithaca Chardonnay
Named after a Greek island. Maybe
Nepenthe Ithaca Chardonnay 2010 (Adelaide Hills, SA)
12.5%, Screwcap, $30
Here is a perfect example of a good modern Australian Chardonnay. Low in alcohol, carefully oaked and driven by acidity and refreshment as well as texture. Drinkability over show medal worthiness. High fives.
The recipe here is actually pretty simple. Fruit is picked early (late February for this wine), sees no malo and only 9 months in oak. What makes it work is that contrast between the richness of oak. fruit and lees action coupled with the more lifted, malic acid etched palate.
It actually smells quite classic too, with sao oak and grapefruit on the nose, leading to a palate that is initially quite oak driven but also lined with the sort of acidity that is has more in common with (also lightly oaked and not malolactically fermented) Chablis than many modern Chardonnays. That oak still carries through the finish a fraction but no questioning the drive and length and ‘only going to get better’ palate shape. Nice wine and a very easy recommendation for the price. 18.1/93