(2023) Karrawatta is a new name for me, their Meadows vineyard lying at 450 - 470 metres altitude with 27-year-old vines. Ferment was with inoculated yeast in 400 litre French barriques, 35% new oak. It spent nine months on the lees with partial malolactic. Pale yellow/straw, it's a bright, straightforward lemony nose with little sign of reduction or heavy oak. It's straighforward on the palate too, lemon jelly flavours, decent acidity and medium weight. No UK stockists listed at time of review.
(2023) From vineyards in Oakbank at 300 metres, the vines are 25 years old. Barrel fermented with wild yeast, it spent 10 months in 300-litre French oak, 30% of which was new. Another pale and green-tinged wine, this is quite clean and doesn't emphasise oak, ripeness or reduction too much, rather it has lightly floral and clean lemon and apple character. In the mouth it lacks the decisiveness, maybe the sheer precision of something like the Orlando, but it is balanced into its long citrus finish.
(2023) From vineyards in Lenswood at 500-590 metres. Fruit from 25-year-old vines was part whole-bunch fermented with wild yeast in 100% French oak. A small portion went through malolactic fermentation and the wine spent eight months in barrel. A youthful straw/green in colour, the nose shows flintiness, but is more about crushed oatmeal and quite figgy, ripe fruit. Admirably loaded with fruit sweetness and texture, it is really very concentrated, though with salt and lemon acidity to balance. A big, and for me, slightly overpowering style despite its lowly 12.5% alcohol.
(2023) Sitting at 500 metres above sea level, Cloudline is apt, given this vineyard sits at one of Australia's higher vineyard elevations. The Chardonnay is fermented and matured for 8 months in French oak barriques, a very small percentage of which is new. There's a subtle flint/mineral character on the nose, the oak discreet but present. In the mouth a substantial texture and a fairly robust, fat lemony concentration of fruit, though there is some precision with pithy, intense citrus and a touch of salt in the finish.
(2022) Interesting to see a 2017 Chardonnay on the shelves of two big supermarkets. Petaluma was established by legendary Australian winemaker Brian Croser, but passed out of his hands many years ago. This wine coming from the elevated vineyards of the Adelaide Hills, fermented in barriques and larger hogshead barrels, seeing only partial malolactic fermentation to retain more of its crisp acidity. It has an appealing nose melding stone fruits and lemon with creamy oatmeal notes. On the palate there's an initial sweetness, a juiciness of peach and good acids, just hinting at a flinty character. It's a middle of the road style to be fair, but stylishly done and food friendly for sure.
(2022) Part fermented in concrete eggs, French oak vats and small barrels with wild yeasts. No aggressive herbaceousness here, instead light figgy notes, gentle vanilla smokiness and gooseberry and light pineapple aromas. Nice full palate, plenty of acidity here, pithy lemon and grapefruit cleansing the finish, in a very gastronomic style of Sauvignon.
(2021) Fruit for this is from the Musque clone of Chardonnay, rarely seen but know for its aromatics. It is made with wild yeasts in barrels, with lees stirring. It matures for 10 months in oak, 20% new. There's some spice and ripe but quite lean and restrained fruit, a little ginger note. The oak is present but understated too, and onto the palate it has fine oranges and lemons vibrant juiciness, a nice texture and plenty of punch.
(2020) A new wine in the Our Fathers not-for-profit range where all proceeds go to worthwhile charities, this is a RhÃ´ne-ish blend of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, sourced from McLaren Vale. Wild-fermented and made partly in concrete eggs, partly in barrels, it has a ripe, full, lightly-spiced nose of apple compote and citrus, leading onto a super-juicy palate where the sweetness and lusciousness of the fruit sits beautifully with the textural dryness of the wild ferment and barrel ageing. Very nice acidity too, tangy and orangey, giving this great lip-smacking moreishness.
(2017) Lots of lemon zestiness to this, some fruit skins and phenolic character, a lot of brightness, crisp under-ripe pear and apple. A lean and fresh style. Only 11.8 abv and certainly no sign of flabbiness or heat.