Flametree leading the way for best chardonnay


Flametree chief winemaker Cliff Royle.
Flametree chief winemaker Cliff Royle.

WA produces 2-3 per cent of Australia’s chardonnay and, 10 to 15 years ago, dominated the lists of best wine at each price point.

More recently, the Hunter and Yarra valleys, the Adelaide Hills and especially Tasmania have been producing world-class chardonnays.

Despite the increasing number of exceptional wines now emanating from the eastern states (think Coldstream Hills Reserve, Oakridge 864 Funder & Diamond, Giaconda and Yattarna), the west is once again taking centre stage in the country’s leading masked chardonnay tastings.

In the first show results for 2017, Xanadu’s 2015 Reserve Chardonnay gained the trophies for Best Chardonnay and Best Dry White Wine of Show.

The Sydney results were announced last week and John and Rob Towner’s 2016 Flametree SRS Wallcliffe chardonnay gained the Trophy for Best Chardonnay.

These two wins give the west seven of the nine most recent capital city chardonnay trophies.

Flametree chief winemaker Cliff Royle also received marvellous and almost unmatched national and international reviews for his recently sold out 2014 vintage.

The west’s chardonnays also excel in the reasonably priced releases.

The Vasse Felix Premium Heytesbury chardonnay 2015 (18.9 points and $85) is now sold out, but the great value buys in this line-up are both the 2015 and the newly released 2016 Filius chardonnays.

Despite the 2016’s youth, it is balanced, round, lively, restrained and beautifully structured for delicious current drinking (18.2 points and $28).

Quite simply, one of the great value buys.

Woodlands too is upgrading its chardonnay quality and the recently sold out Chloe 2015 (18.9 pts and $95) was quite clearly its finest to date and believe that this month’s release of the 2016 vintage is a new high point.

But the value here is the young $26.50 (18.2 pts) Estate chardonnay which is also round, balanced, true to style and a marvellous example of the variety at the price.

Just wonderful. Add the Xanadu Black Label Chardonnay 2015 (18.5 pts and $38) and there are plenty of price points to choose from.

 

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