(2022) Bilancia makes some marvellous Chardonnays, and this is the top of their range, from a single vineyard planted in 2001 with a number of different clones. Whole bunch pressed to French oak puncheons and barriques with fermentation by indigenous yeast, where it spent 11 months prior to bottling. A more subtle, and I have to say, elegant, nose than the Askerne, a buttery almond character, ripe peachy fruit. The palate is lovely too: there's a shimmering clarity to this, the keen lime edge to the fruit and acidity playing against toast and nutty richness, flinty precision extending the length of the finish.
(2021) From 25-year-old vines in Frankland River, individual batches were aged in barrels (10% new) for additional 15 months before blending. 6% Tempranillo was included in the blend. Powerful, super-sweet and concentrated blackcurrant and blueberry aromas, a litle violet lift and a sprinkle of white pepper. After a buoyant and bright opening, the palate does not disappoint, the creamy ripeness of black fruit persisting, but there's a bittersweet edge to this, a rasp of plum-skin bite to the tannins and edge of the fruit, and keen acidity adding another sharpening angle. The finish is all about fruit, just underpinned by the charry barrel component.
(2020) Flinty sulphides and cream, a touch of lime. Crunchy apple comes through. Fine sweet fruit on the palate. Juicy, a long, fresh finish, very good acidity, finishing on citrus and salts. A lovely wine - price and stockist at time of review is for the 2016 vintage.
(2017) The recipe again is French oak for fermentation and ageing on the lees for 10 months, with wild yeasts doing the fermentation. It's also another heavily reductive style, powerful gunflint aromatics along with almond and some toast, and nutty apple fruit beneath. In the mouth a little exotic spiciness from the oak and wild ferment, nice texture, and plenty of pithy, bold lemon assertiveness.