First taste: Giaconda Chardonnay 2011, Beechworth, Victoria
When Langton’s Classification VI of Australian Wine is launched on May 1st I’ll happily wager that there will be a fair few more Chardonnays among the ranks. The country’s new improved Chardonnays are rightly being feted the world over. However, I’m equally prepared to bet that Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay and Giaconda Chardonnay maintain their top tier “Exceptional” status within Langton’s Classification.
Giaconda Chardonnay 2011 (Beechworth, Victoria)
This muscular yet finely wrought Chardonnay from a cooler, south-facing site at 400m never fails to impress. In 2011, it is deliciously and very liberally laced with minerals with its volcanic, struck match undertones and long, shimmering, crystalline palate. Matured for 22 months in French oak (30% new) and with a full malo, it’s powerful, very intense, with notes of orange peel and wood spice to its concentrated yet cleverly corseted girth of stone fruits. An immense wine of great balance and poise which continues to build in the mouth towards (it seems endless) a deeply impressive finish. It was both fermented and aged 25 metres underground in Rick Kinzbrunner’s two and a half tonnes of dynamite-blasted granite cave for a slower, more even maturation. Top marks! RRP £95; £395/6 bottles in bond at Chelsea Vintners.