View Road Wines Chardonnay 2012 (Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills, SA)
13.3%, Cork, $37
View Road Wines is the new winemaking venture of fellow blogger Josh Tuckfield (vino-review.blogspot.com).
Of course I totally forgot that Josh had made this and it was only through some internet stalking and my trusty gmail search that I worked out where they’d come from. Better still, I tasted the wine before the research, which helped eliminate any blogger bias (us bloggers, we stick together).
Thankfully I don’t need to worry much about this wine, as most people are going to love it.
Just putting it out there…
Produced from the renowned Swaby vineyard (one of the oldest in the Adelaide Hills. Brendon Keys uses it for his excellent Swaby Chardonnay), which is up behind the Mt Lofty Gardens on the edge of the Piccadilly Valley. Hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and wild fermented in old barrels (or barrel even, as just 24 dozen was produced), with a small amount of sulphur the only addition of any kind.
It tastes and smells utterly delicious too – the nose playfully suggesting more oak than you’d expect, but further inspection reveals it to be more yeast/malo and solids derived than oak. The nose and palate are nutty, faintly oxidative and wild, the warm vintage giving this a little salted caramel edge, though there is just enough acid to hold things through. I’d like just a little more shape to finish actually, but that is my only serious qualm (best to serve it well chilled I found).
Ultimately this View Road Chardonnay represents the pointy end of modern Australian Chardonnay production – seriously high quality fruit and ultra modern (yet simultaneously ancient) winemaking, working to make something long, interesting and anything but sterile. That slightly oxidative edge may upset the technocrats (and a little more tension would be nice), but that charisma pulls this over the line.
Tasted: June 2014
Score: 18.5/20, 94/100
Would I buy it? I’d drink a whole bottle.
Buy online: Not even a website. Nothing. Try tweeting Josh @tuckfield.