Nepenthe Ithaca Chardonnay 2012
The wheels seem to have fallen off the Nepenthe train a fraction over the last few years, with quite a few releases that haven’t hit the mark.
This Chardonnay is normally the highpoint of the range, and this 2012 is definitely one of the better wines. Yet it still isn’t as good as it could be.
My main gripe here is oak – this seems to have seen some seriously chippy new wood. Couple that barrel ferment richness with a reasonably contained palate that looks to have minimal malolactic fermentation and there is a disconnect – blunt oak meets fresh palate.
Still, underneath the fruit seems high quality, and indeed the clever leesy edges work into something quite attractive. If only the oak would be turned down a little.
Not bad, but a long way off great.
Details: 13%, Screwcap,
Tasted: March 2015 (at a tasting)
Best drinking: 2016-2022
Score: 17/20, 90/100+
Would I buy it? No.
Buy online: Nepenthe website