Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Scarborough Chardonnay - 2010 Yellow Label & 2011 Blue Label (Hunter Valley)

These two wines present a good study in both the old and the new when it comes to Australian Chardonnay. Scarborough’s Yellow Label Chardonnay, while not their most expensive wine, is something akin to a flagship, and harks back to the rich and powerful Chards of yesteryear. The Blue label is a more elegant, less oak driven style of Chardonnay, and much more in line stylistically with where many Australian Chardonnays have moved.

Importantly, both wines are good examples of their styles and avoid the extremes of those styles that have often been evident in Australian Chardonnay.

2010 Yellow Label Chardonnay – $23 -  From a warm and fast vintage. The wine sees a blend of old and new oak, partial malolactic fermentation, and a regular stirring of lees. Classic old school flavours of butterscotch, peach, and grilled nuts. It’s rich, with plenty of oak input, but it always remains in balance. Luscious mouthfeel. It lacks a bit of intensity and length for a higher score, but it’s nevertheless a lovely drink. 3.5 stars

2011 Blue Label Chardonnay – $21 - From a very good Hunter Valley vintage. This wine only sees old oak, no malolactic fermentation, and a regular stirring of lees. It’s a quality Chardonnay with both generosity and restraint on display. Citrus and stonefruits. A nice touch of creaminess is balanced by a lovely acidity and gives the wine an appealing texture before delivering a long, dry finish. Its approachable now with a bit of air, but will be at its best in another couple of years. Great drinking. 4 stars



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