Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2010 Mountadam High Eden Chardonnay (Eden Valley)

A great story and unique wine.

Mountadam was set up in 1972  by David Wynn, founder of Wynns in Coonawarra. Wynn would have been one of Australia's more significant wine figures, regardless of whether he had set up Mountadam or not. Mountadam, however, only furthered his legacy. It was was his attempt to find an elevated, cool-climate site, in order to produce great Chardonnay. This endeavour is of course myriad now, but Wynn's Mountadam decision was truly unique for its time. As such, I’ve always liked the idea of Mountadam, but for some reason have very rarely got around to trying their wines.

One of the interesting aspects to Mountadam Chardonnay is that at 550 metres in the Eden Valley, it is well and truly in Riesling country. Indeed this is where some of Australia’s finest Rieslings are born. Can a wine region produce both great Riesling and Chardonnay? This wine answers this questions very strongly in the affirmative.

To the wine. Many of my favourite Australian Chardonnays see 100% malolactic fermentation and plenty of new oak. This is not because I’m in love with overt oak or blousy wines, far from it, but because the best chardonnay grapes take new oak and malo in their stride. Great Chardonnay sites can produce wines that retain a steely acidity and a sense of restraint, while benefitting from the further complexity and texture that malolactic fermentation and new oak brings. Wineries like Sorrenberg, Savaterre and Main Ridge produce great examples of this style. Mountadam can be added to this list.

This is a wine that leaves an impression. It’s quite a heady Chardonnay with bold flavours of citrus, peach and grilled nuts. Spicy oak is prominent but in balance with the fruit. Lovely acidity. Tasting it over 3 days it became more and more refined and integrated with time, while a beautiful pebbly minerality began to emerge. Smooth yet powerful. The last couple of mouthfuls were superb as the wine really stretched out and strutted its stuff. Leave this in the cellar for a couple of years and then enjoy. 4 Stars +


RRP: $30
ABV: 14.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Drink: 2014-2020


1 comment:

Red said...

Looks like I overrated this wine, at least as far as the plus sign goes. I've had another bottle over two days and it has that slightly spirity/high alcohol edge that is just a touch distracting. It's still an enjoyable chardonnay in the powerful style, and it probably just does enough to warrant 4 stars, but I would be drinking up now.

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