WA chardonnays dominate the national wine show circuit

Flametree senior winemaker Cliff Royle.
Flametree senior winemaker Cliff Royle.

THE west’s chardonnays are improving year by year in every price range.

Once again, as they did 10 and 15 years ago, Margaret River’s chardonnays are dominating the masked national wine show circuit.

While WA’s share of the national grape crush has dropped from about 4 per cent to 2.9 per cent, the chardonnay proportion is just 2.1 per cent.

I’ll repeat that – WA produced 2.1 per cent of Australia’s chardonnay in 2015.

Each of the seven capital city wine shows gives a trophy for the best of each of the major varieties.

In 2016, WA gained five of the seven trophies given for chardonnays and in 2017 the state has won all three awarded so far.

That is eight of the past 10 capital city wine show chardonnay trophies from 2.1 per cent.

Xanadu don’t only do trophy-winning cabernet sauvignons; they have picked up two capital city trophies for Best SBS with their DJL 2016 blend, and earlier this year they picked up the award for Best Chardonnay, Best White Wine and Best Wine of Show with their 2015 Reserve chardonnay at Brisbane (18.9 points, $85).

The other two Best Chardonnay Trophies awarded this year, in Sydney and Perth, were both won by Flametree’s SRS (Sub-Regional Series) Wallcliffe 2016 chardonnay (18.8pts, $65).

The best of the other great chardonnays out there are the soon to be released Vasse Felix Heytesbury 2016, which will disappear very quickly, is more refined and could even surpass its best ever release to date, the wonderful 2015 (18.9 pts, $85).

The just-released Pierro 2016 (18.8, $85) is still extremely young but has stunning length.

The new Voyager Estate ‘Estate’ Release 2015, is young, soft, supple, juicy, delicious and stunning value for money at (18.8 pts, $55). The Woodlands ‘Chloe’ chardonnay 2015 and the Cullen Kevin John chardonnay 2015 are just marvellous wines at $95 and $130 respectively, at 18.9 points each.

The outstanding wine of the night on nearly all tasting sheets, from a masked tasting, was the 2014 Leeuwin Art Series chardonnay, which was long, soft, ripe, seamless and just wonderfully crafted at 19.1 pts, $115.