Chardonnay is the most popular grape in my house. By a margin. Pinot rates highly when winter comes along, but Chardie is the champ.
I didn’t take this 2014 Castelli Estate Il Liris Chardonnay home, but I suspect that if I did, the bottle would drain as if by magic. Not only that, but it would be me who’d probably smash most of it.
This is superb Chardonnay.
The biggest appeal here is the complexity, driven by equally complex production – that includes some fruit picked at sparkling base ripeness; full solids and selective malolactic fermentation.
There’s a real cleverness about that craftsmanship which translates directly into the wine, delivering a smorgasboard of banana cream, lemon and oatmeal aromas, followed by a muti-layered palate of vanilla bean oak, solidsy wildness (complete with a cidery oxidative handling edge without going too far) rich fruit and then tangy acid, the long, creamed peach finish just a little lean but without any sharp edges in sight.
Another cracking vintage of this wine, which now must rate as one of Australia’s best Chardies that no one ever mentions in those ubiquitous ‘best of’ lists. Perhaps my only quibble lies with the slightly raw finish – which is why it rates marginally behind the ’13 – though that’s just a matter of six months in bottle.
Excellent stuff otherwise. A little price rise (and now in a heavy bottle complete with Vinolok) but so worth the dollars. Yes. Best drinking: 2017-2022. 18.5/20, 94/100+. 13%, $60. Would I buy it? Sure would. 1er Cru Burgundy quality yet an average village price.
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