(2022) From soils of red volcanic clay and 50-year-old vines, fermentation was with 'neutral' cultured yeasts, and the wine bottled early to preserve freshness. There is lemony freshness here, but even a hint of succulent pear and peach. Already there are nuances of flowers and Acacia honey in the mix. The palate has lovely fruit, a burst of tangerine juiciness that is a little different from the usual lemony character one might expect. Lovely, ripe style.
(2022) The vineyard here is 116 years old, on free-draining sandy soils. Again, this was made in steel and bottled early. There is a wonderfully honeyed and almondy nose, the toast of 7 years in bottle has already developed so that you would swear this has seen some high quality oak. On the palate there's a lovely sweet edge to the fruit, with real juiciness of ripe red apple and lime, then that thrilling acid, touched with salinity but pure and lemon-juicy, extends the finish. HVD stands for 'Hunter Valley Distillery', as it was originally planted as a source for making brandy.
(2022) Vineyards run from 750- to 820 metres here on basalt soils. Whole bunch pressed into French oak barrels, 50% new, where it matured for nine months. Very aromatic and nutty, a little hint of mint or menthol. Very fresh and bright on the palate still, lots of flashing lemon peel and zest, a crispness and citrus drive, but wrapped in a little butterscotch to very pleasing effect. Very different from the Philip Shaw, but another really lovely expression of Chardonnay.
(2022) From one of the pioneering estates of the modern era, and a vineyard that runs from 860- to 950 metres. Fermented with indigenous yeasts, 75% in old barrels, it was matured on the lees with stirring and pnly partial malolactic. Lovely oatmeal and toasty crushed almond aromas over ripe stone fruits, a hint of flint. Lovely, mouthfilling fruit that becomes peachy-sweet, but the cool-climate structure with firm acidity and a taut finish balances really very nicely. Note price and stockist are for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2016) From vineyard at 900 metres, Philip Shaw having traveled the world making wine and know what he was looking for - almost settling in Tasmania, almost in Victoria, but Orange was where they settled. Made from estate fruit, it is tight and reserved on the nose, then a rich texture though the palate profile, it is intense and taut, a hint of sweet fruit but loads of acid crunch. The oak hasÂ such a delicate character, a lanolin and buttery touch, and concentration married to finesse.