Monday, 6 April 2015

Robert Oatley Finisterre Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River

Tasted 3/4/15, 13% ABV, screw cap closure, ca. £18 - £22 UK retail (e.g. Waitrose, Wine Society). This is a top class wine from winemaker Larry Cherubino using some of the putatively oldest Chardonnay vines in Australia. This wine regularly receives 90 PP or 18+/20 for most vintages and it certainly can compete with many of the best (though perhaps not the best) that Burgundy can offer. Quality wise, it is certainly up there with a Grand Cru Chassagne-Montrachet, though a somewhat different.This is now one of my favourite New World Chardonnays, along with Catena Alta from Mendoza,
Firstly, let's get out of the way my usual hobby horse which turned me off Aussie Chardonnay for a long while - the excessive use of oak. This wine has had 9 months in new French oak (rather than American oak) which pays dividends, as though the oak is certainly more prominent than in a Burgundian style, it balances the richness and acidity of the wine. This wine is complex and elegant. There is an underlying palate of almonds, apricots and citrus but with a fine minerality. Finish is incredibly long and complex. A superbly balanced wine with a good life ahead of it. From 2015, 18.5/20