(2017) An out and out bargain at D Byrne’s price, this Blanc des Noirs blend of Pinots Noir and Meunier has fine toasty and bready, autolytic development. Plenty of small bubbles and crisp apple fruit add to the appeal, and on the palate it has a gentle attack: not sweet at all, but softer than some English sparkling wines, the 5 years of lees ageing having smoothed and rounded the acidity into a long, balanced finish of great poise.
(2013) >From a small plot within the home estate, around 45% of the wine was fermented and aged six months in French oak barriques. Nuttiness and gentle brioche notes, an apple character to the fruit. Maybe just a glimpse of something more exotic, but fairly restrained. In the mouth masses of ripe fruit sweetness, a pineapple chunk character, with the toast of the oak growing in the finish. Big with its 14% alcohol and sweet-fruited, but balanced.
(2013) Not ostensibly different to the wine above. Is it perhaps a little less exotically fruited and a little more linear? Good, cool precision with a similar blend of rich fruit, toast and fresh acidity.
(2010) >From Angostura in Colchagua, this Chardonnay has a fine, appealing nutty Cox's Pippin character with traces of almond and a teasing glimpse of more tropical fruit. The oak is orangy and toasty and not overdone. On the palate it is a pretty big wine, with an oiliness to the texture and great concentration on the mid-palate where the very sweet, ripe fruit plays against some buttery brazil nut flavour before pithy citrus acidity kicks in. It is a trace hot in the finish perhaps with 14% alcohol, but nevertheless is a very nice, serious rendition of Chardonnay.