Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2008 YarraLoch Stephanie's Dream Chardonnay (Yarra Valley)

There have been 96 point scores left, right, and centre for this wine, so I was pretty excited to try it. It’s from the 2008 vintage in the Yarra Valley, which was initially called by some as a bit of a heat affected vintage, but from which I’ve subsequently tasted plenty of fantastic wine.

Straight off the bat it had an expressive, complex nose of smoky, spicy, nutty grapefruit, with a touch of coconut cream. The palate, in contrast, is somewhat understated at present. It presents as refined and balanced with excellent length. There’s a touch of creaminess on the mid-palate and an appealing bit of bitter pith through the long finish. It’s a quality Chardonnay, no question, and yet it left me wanting more of something . . . weight, intensity, grip, not sure but it’s a sense I have with plenty of Oz Chardonnay at present. Is the quest for elegance resulting in a loss of character? The optimist in me hopes that these types of Chardys will blossom at about 5 years and beyond, at which point my quibbles will prove to be ill-founded. 4 Stars for now and “+” for a few years down the track.


ABV: 13%



Jeremy Pringle said...

Made by Dave Bicknell, typical style - lowish ABV, lots of structure and acidity, really needs another 4-5 years minimum to strut its stuff IMO(will live a hell of a lot longer).

I'm lucky enough to have tasted a few of his Chardonnays with bit of age and each that I've tried has certainly developed a fair degree of character whilst maintaining a sense of elegance. They are certainly distinct though, so I'll be interested to read your thoughts should you open a bottle in 2013-14.

Red said...

JP, I can definitely see that type of development happening, given the balance and structure of the wine. In one sense it reminded me of the 08 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay, which didn't necessarily press my buttons either but was of undoubted quality.
In both cases I've got a couple of bottles in the cellar so I'll be able to enjoy their journey.

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