This is an impressive Marsanne at a good price. There’s a nice bit of richness throughout while remaining taut, dry, and underpinned by a keen acidity. Lovely texture and balance. Citrus flavours, a touch of honey, and a streak of minerality. It was great with seafood and improved over a couple of days. Ended bumping it up from 3.5 to 4 stars.
Drinking these two wines provides a great exposition on Clare Valley Riesling, particularly in terms of terroir and the quality of the 2012 vintage.
2012 Watervale Riesling - $22 – Hailing from a vineyard with a westerly aspect and red loam over limestone soils, it tastes very much like a Clare Valley riesling from Watervale. Generous citrus flavours dominate, along with florals, and hints of stonefruits. Nice mid-palate drive and intensity is underscored by an unforced acidity. It finishes with good length and a soapy note I often find in Clare Rieslings. Quality offering. Good now or over the next 5-10 years. 4 Stars
2012 Polish HillRiesling - $22 – From a couple of rocky, slatey vineyards, this delivers the taut structure and minerality typical of the Polish Hill sub-region, while also showing the beautiful generosity of the vintage to come together in a superb riesling. A step up from the Watervale. It’s not quite ready to drink straight out of the bottle now, but it improves over a few days, and is an absolute monty for the cellar. Lime, florals, and bath salts. Great intensity of mineral laden fruit throughout and finishes with tremendous length. Stunning value. I'm buying. 4.5 Stars
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
RedtoBrown is a blog focussing on all things wine related. The result of a mutual passion for wine, RedtoBrown aims to explore different wines from new and old regions in Australia and abroad. Along with sharing our tasting notes, we are also passionate about the story behind the wines- the history, the region, the people.
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