Bannockburn Extended Lees Contact Geelong Chardonnay 2011
Here’s a wine that fits somewhere in between experiment and frankenwine (depending on your perspective).
It’s a Chardonnay from Bannockburn in Geelong that spent an astonishing four lees in barrel/tank on lees with minimal stirring and no sulphur. Woah.
If you were making sparkling wine that would be serious lees ageing, but for a table wine? Wild. Then again, ex-Bannockburn winemaker Michael Glover wasn’t afraid of pushing the boundaries in every direction. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it just delivered weird stalky shit. Entertaining nonetheless.
This is the second time one of these Bannockburn Extended Lees Chardies have been, following on from the 2008 and, thankfully, it definitely fits into the tasty end of the experimental wine spectrum. The sky-high natural acidity of the wet and cold 2011 vintage no doubt helped, but that’s discounting that this is decent, if unusual, wine.
It’s difficult to get past the lees and barrel character here no doubt, but gee it gives this some complexity. Sure. it’s kinda like a flat grower Champagne with riper fruit, though there is enough shape to the mouthfeel to know its not fizz.
The only question is whether you could actually drink more than a glass of this Sometimes it felt like a Chardonnay zoo in there such is the array of cheesy autolysis weight. The fact it had no sulphur in barrel also gives this just a hint of oxidation that makes the edges even broader.
Again, however, I can’t discount just how many layers this throws up. I could taste this for days and reveal different flavours, and that’s what makes it a wine of interest.
Worth a punt for the ride alone.
Best drinking: 2017-2020. 18/20, 93/100. 12.5%, $65. Would I buy it? I just don’t know. I’d like a glass or two but could I finish a bottle?