(2021) From Geelong, 25 kilomteres from the Ocean, and made organically. The soils are clay over limestone, and the wine is fermented with wild yeasts before spending 10 months in French oak (larger barrels and 20% new). Around 70% goes through malolactic. Creamy cashew nut, melon and juicy apple, not so much flint here, but not in the tropical spectrum either. The palate is lovely: decisive acidity for sure, lemon and salt, but a rounded, creamy fruit quality, the almond and hazelnut oak is delicious, and this has excellent length and balance.
(2017) Middle tier of the range, whole bunch fermented, partly with wild yeast, no malolcactic and 20% of new barrels. Creamy and a little restrained, a touch of almond and fat lemon and then lean and savoury onto the palate, but has lovely cream and sweet apple flesh fruitiness. Tight finish, long and poised. Note stockist and price at time of review is for a different vintage.
(2017) Emerald tinge to the colour, nice hint of butter and toast from the barrels, a nice hint of flint too, however, and turns quite tight and retains plenty of fruit sweetness against its acidity. Rather nice.
(2017) Nice flinty character here, very appealing, though quite closed, feels just a little constrained and as though there's a lot still to come in a true baby of a wine. Very nice balance, very nice tight citrus zest and hints of that flinty mineral saltiness, suggest this will evolve very nicely and I am confident it will deserve its score. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) Winemaker Luke Lomax says the philosophy is to look for balance between fruit, acid and phenolics and always lower alcohols. Crushed and fermented with wild yeast in 500l puncheons, no malo. Quite creamy and appley, the light earthinss and straw-like notes of wild yeast complexity, lime rind and a touch of spice. The palate shows lovely nuttiness and a bit of breadth of texture, but that taut mineral and lemon/apple dry acid and keenly juicy fruit concentration gives great clarity. Note price and stockist shown at time of review is for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) More creamy and gently toasty oak, with more of that complex fig and gentle sulphidic character, nicely hazelnutty, with plenty of citrus and crunchy apple acids, with a ripe lemony fruit - sharp, but with fat and generosity, with the oak filling in. A more diffuse style than Kooyong for example, but very delicious. Note price and stockist at time of review are for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) Winemaker Jonathon Mattick explains that the Wallis vineyard was planted in 1992 on volcanic soils, the breeze from the Bass Strait only 4km away being a big influence. This sees 20% new oak with batonnage. Hints of green fig and a bit of slaty/flinty character and a fair bit of oak showing. The palate has a pithy, limey citrus character, with a deal of juiciness that is deliciously mouth-watering.
(2017) Quite a minty nose and with a lovely lemon meringue pie quality, creamy but also fat lemons. Very cool, very lean in the mouth at this stage, lots of apple cores and dry pithy acidity, a real intensity and finesse to this, a bone-dry style, the oak just savoury and grippy with no oaky flavours. Long, taut and needs time.
(2017) Green-flecked and lightly flinty, but again it is more about that creamed crushed almond character, a bit of citrus peel too. The palate has a really cool freshness, a nicely slippery texture and then a touch of creamy oak to support as precise lime-skin acidity pushes through, just hints of tropical sweetness to balance.
(2017) Prevaling easterly wind helps cool this vineyard, planted in 1981 mostly as Cabernet, but since grafted to Pinot and Chardonnay. This is the premium Chardonnay in the range. Rollo Crittenden says he "dabbled with biodynamics but decided against," so now lots of cover crops - legumes and broad beans - and composting, so basically organic with no synthetic chemicals used. Lovely sheen of almond and oatmeal, just the merest hint of flintiness and definite creaminess of aroma. Lovely palate, the lime and orange zest of the acidity also edges the more tropical fruit. Nice firmness to the acids against the creamy texture, a cool apple core bite.