Devil’s Lair Chardonnay 2012 (Margaret River, WA)
12%, Screwcap, $50
Another early-picked Margaret River Chardonnay, in a vintage that has seen more early-picked Margaret River Chards than ever. Obviously it’s a product of what was a scorching year in the west, but I’d still question whether the quest for lean and ‘mineral’ Chardonnay might be taking us down the same path as green and mean path as Australian Cabernet Sauvignon in the 1980s.
A further challenge with picking early and restricting malo is that the oak tends to stick out (as the other elements can’t quite cover it up), with oak evident on nose and palate here and undesirable oak tannins to finish.
What stops me from completely writing this off is that there is classy fruit in there too. Sure the acidity is raw but the length is still pretty good. You get the impression that this needs time in a massive way and calling it now might be pure folly.
I’d wait and see.
Score: 17/20, 90/100+
Would I buy it? Not now. Later?