expert reviews about
2015 Flametree SRS Wallcliffe Chardonnay
Ray Jordan (2015 Vintage) says
Cliff Royle continues to raise the bar with his Chardonnay, especially at the super premium end with this marvellous wine. Toasty oak infused into the white peach and grapefruit fruit characters. A little struck match and a flinty gun-metal character on the nose. Extraordinary length and persistence through the palate.
Huon Hooke (2015 Vintage) says
Medium straw colour with a marvellously minerally, rocky, struck-flinty bouquet which leans heavily towards complex sulphides, but is also powered along by grapefruit and other citrus aromas. The wine is tightly focused, intense and powerful in the mouth. It's lean and nervy, typical of this maker's style, and if any Australian Chardonnay can be said to be mineral, this can. Lots of artefact but also masses of fruit. Beautifully focused, balanced and long-lasting on the finish.2016 - 2027
Royal Melbourne Wine Show (2015 Vintage) says
Lovely reduction, complex, pristine fruit, excellent.
James Halliday (2015 Vintage) says
Gingin clone, hand-picked and whole bunch-pressed for wild yeast barrel ferment (100% new French oak); matured for 12 months. Margaret River Chardonnay at its elegant best, with white peach, cashew and grapefruit standing clear and proud, the barrel ferment inputs there, but relatively subtle. Drop dead gold medal quality.Drink by 2022
Campbell Mattinson (2015 Vintage) says
Top-flight Chardonnay from the cool Wallcliffe sub-region of Margaret River. Made at the hand of Cliff Royle. The flint, the funk, the flesh, the flavour. This serves it all up, and in high style. Grapefruit comes smoothed over with creamy cashew; stone fruit is able with matchstick-y, sulphur-splashed funk. It’s in-your-face, in a good way. Long fingers of flavour distinguish the finish.2017 - 2022+
Tyson Stelzer (2011 Vintage) says
Cliff Royle is the definition of intuitive winemaking, throwing out the recipe to free himself to play with all the fine details in response to the fruits of the vintage. The outcome is a chardonnay that reflects the concentration of Margaret River in a warmer vintage, yet exemplifies earlier picked, lower alcohol energy and taut definition. Well-defined grapefruit and white peach fruit is offset by savoury charcuterie, notes of struck flint and a saline character indicative of its maritime origins. A beautifully crafted Margaret River chardonnay of honed acidity and mouth-filling, finely structured texture.2012 - 2018
James Halliday (2011 Vintage) says
Organised by Yarra Valley Wine, the objective of the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge is to affirm the quality of Australian Chardonnay and provide a catalyst for people to take a fresh look at this much-loved wine by providing an appropriate platform for the national search to recognize Australia’s finest chardonnay.
AWARDED: Second place in the Margaret River Class
AWARDED: Into the Chairman’s 11
The Chairman’s 11 is an extension of the highest scoring wines from the regions, in which we invite the chair to add a small number of excellent wines, entirely at his discretion, to make a set of eleven. This group is not intended to distract from the ‘winner takes all’ approach of the Challenge, but rather, it will help us tell the Australian chardonnay story. And why did we decide on 11, we hear you ask? Well, after much soul searching, we agreed that ‘form follows function’ - to show the world, we needed a set of benchmark wines that fitted neatly into a case! This should be a dozen wines of which Australia can be immensely proud.James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge
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