Tag: Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay

Feb 02 2015

Decanter Magazine names Australia’s Top 4 Chardonnays

Posted on February 02, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Decanter Magazine recently conducted a blind tasting to come up with a list of the “Best Chardonnays in the world (outside Burgundy).” Nominated for consideration by top wine critics were the finest chardonnays from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. 80 wines in total were tasted. (The Best Chardonnays in the world (outside Burgundy) by Stephen Brook, Decanter Magazine, March 2015)

While the Martinborough Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 from New Zealand was crowned “Wine of the Tasting,” four Australian wines made it into the top 10 list of “Outstanding Wines” (South Africa came in second with three wines on the list):

By Farr Chardonnay, Geelong, Victoria 2012

De Bortoli & Shelmerdine, PHI, Lusatia Park Vineyard, Yarra Valley, Victoria 2007

Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay, Beechworth, Victoria 2011

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Margaret River, Western Australia 2010

 

De Bortoli Phi ChardonnayThe Decanter tasting panel of Stephen Brook, Jasper Morris MW and Steven Spurrier thought that “about half  of the wines couldn’t have been Burgundy, but half quite easily could have.’

In fact, at a blind tasting in Australia, Brook confidently placed the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Margaret River 2010 as a Burgundy!  He describes it as “a magnificent, limpid, complex Chardonnay, with broad shoulders but rarely showing excessive oak or heft.”

Certainly top winemakers like By Farr’s Gary Farr are drawn twwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaao the Burgundian style of making chardonnay. Wines, which at their best, are hailed for their complexity, nuance, finesse and ageability.

The By Farr Chardonnay 2012 is an example of a wine rich in flavour yet elegant andGiaconda Estate Chardonnay refined. Brook describes it having a “full and somewhat exotic style yet [with] tension and complexity.”

The grapes for this wine are grown on the same vineyard as the pinot noir used for the acclaimed By Farr Sangreal Read the rest

Mar 03 2012

Australia’s Top Ten Aged Chardonnays

Posted on March 03, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Everyone seems to love lists, so I thought I’d put together a list of the top 10 aged Australian Chardonnays, especially since I have had a chance to recently sample back vintages of two that definitely make the list: the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 1998 and the Savaterre Chardonnay 2004.

A couple of caveats. This list is necessarily retrospective. Chardonnay in Australia is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance at the moment, with brilliant new examples of a more balanced and restrained style winning plaudits from critics and consumers alike. As Fiona Beckett recently noted in The Guardian “of all the wines that Australia produces, [chardonnay] has undergone the most dazzling transformation, reminding us what a sexy, sumptuous, delicious wine chardonnay can be.” (Wine: Australian chardonnay comes of age by Fiona Beckett, The Guardian, 13 January 2012)

The newer examples haven’t yet past the test of time, and while wine critics’ drinking windows certainly suggest great longevity, they haven’t been properly tested. Consequently superbly refined wines like Tapanappa’s Tiers Vineyard Chardonnay and the Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay, which were both first released in 2005 and 2003 respectively, don’t yet have a long enough track record to make the list.

Regular readers of my blog know that I’m a big fan of research, so for inspiration this list draws on the vast knowledge and considerable drinking experience of Australia’s best wine critics. For aged wines, however, you can’t go past the verdict of the consumer, as many of the finest bottles are snapped up for the cellar and then snapped up again on the secondary market.

One of the best gauges of consumer preference is Langton’s Classification of Australian Wines. It is considered “the form guide” for Australia’s best performing and most prized wines. To be considered … Read the rest

Sep 09 2011

Aussie Wine Icons: Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay

Posted on September 09, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

“Possibly Australia’s greatest modern wine”… “Australia’s finest chardonnay” … “One of the very best chardonnays in the world outside Burgundy.”

Wow!  And that’s just a few examples of the excitement the Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay has generated since the release of the first 1986 vintage in 1987!

Giaconda is a small winery in the foothills and within sight of the Victorian Alps, just outside the town of Beechworth in northern Victoria. It is run by Rick Kinzbrunner, who was named Qantas/Australian Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2003, and is considered one of the most talented, experienced, thoughtful and inspiring winemakers in Australia. As wine critic Huon Hooke remarked, “He knows what great wine is, he knows what he wants to achieve and how to get there.” (Get serious: One of our finest winemakers does things his own way by Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 May 2003)

The chardonnay vines were originally planted in 1982 on a cool, south facing slope, which protects the vines from the direct impact of the sun’s rays. Here the soil is granitic loam over decomposed gravel and clay. The nutrient poor gravel keeps yields low, while the clay allows sustained water-release to the vine roots, usually making irrigation unnecessary.

Barrel fermented with wild yeasts in French oak (50 per cent new, 100% Sirugue barrels) the wine is bottled unfiltered after 18 months of barrel maturation. The barrels are now stored in a cool, damp cellar 20 metres beneath the granite hill that was dug out by miners a few years ago. Kinzbrunner told wine critic Max Allen “There’s something very special about turning the fruit from the soil above into wine and then taking it deep into the rock below to mature it.” He believes that the humidity (about 95%) causes the … Read the rest