Last Saturday’s VINTAGES release features a wine we’ve been trying to get into Ontario for YEARS now! Caledonia Australis is a boutique winery in one of the most southern wine regions of Australia, in Leongatha, Gippsland, about 100km SE of Melbourne. This winery focuses on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the two cool climate varietals that dominate the vineyards in these parts. The vineyards are farmed by hand, and are currently in conversion to organic. The Reserve Chardonnay is their top tier wine, and critics are saying that the 2008 is the best Chardonnay the winery has produced to date. This is a serious, concentrated, yet elegant wine, and quality-minded producers like Caledonia Australis are helping redefine how the world will view Australian Chardonnay. This special wine will WOW anyone, even those who are determined to think they know what to expect from an Aussie Chard! Maybe try it with lobster or BBQd king crab legs dunked in garlic butter? Yummy!
Caledonia Australis Reserve Chardonnay
After hand harvesting in the cool of the early morning, the grapes were whole bunch pressed and the juice let to lightly settle in tank. This cloudy juice was then transferred to barrel, without yeast or sulphur and allowed to ferment at its own pace in a mix of new and two year old French barriques. Elevage was long and languid, with the wine aged in barrel on lees for 18 months with minimal lees stirring.
Review: “Caledonia Australis was founded in the Gippsland area southeast of Melbourne, with two cool vineyards selected to make Burgundy styled chardonnay and pinot. And indeed this is very Burgundian in style, with a very intense and complex nose with ripe yellow apple, loads of sulphur, toasted almond, yellow wildflower and honey. Lots going on! It’s full bodied, smooth and almost velvety with a rich palate, some vibrancy and excellent length. It could age another five years.Tasted July 2012.” – David Lawrason, WineAlign.com
Review: “The 2008 Chardonnay Reserve gives a good intensity of apricot, pink grapefruit and peach blossom aromas over sulphide notes, meal, cashews and honeyed toast. Medium to full bodied, the palate has a wonderfully silky texture, a good backbone of crisp acidity and a long toasty finish. Drinking beautifully now, it should cellar gracefully through 2015.” – Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW, erobertparker.com
Review: “Here’s a classy, refined yet substantial example of Aussie chard, with uncommon depth and richness on the palate. Wood is still a noted feature, delivering its sweet caramel and baking spice flavours, though there appears to be sufficient fruit flavours to ride it out. Great length. Best in 1-2 years. Tasted June 2012. Value Rating: **” – John Szabo, MS, WineAlign.com
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Region: Victoria, Australia
Price: $39.95 (per bottle)