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Ashbrook Estate Chardonnay

Cracka Rating

Cracka Review

In some ways this wine saddens us. Saddens us as so few know how good it is, how generous and tasty and plain fabulous this Margaret River Chardonnay is. Conversely it also makes us happy that no-one knows about this wine, for it keeps the price at a more than manageable level. As a result of this confilct we have to stop talking about this wine now. I think you'll understand...

Winemaker's Notes

2014 Vintage: A beautifully wet winter in 2013 provided a great start to the Spring growing season. Near perfect weather during flavour development with no heat waves or large rainfall events recorded and a total of 4.3mm falling between December 2013 – February 2014. Abundant Marri blossom before and throughout vintage saw no pressure or damage from silver eye birds with 2014 being a truly ‘Classic’ Margaret River weather pattern and an exceptional grape growing season.

Vineyard: The “Old Chardonnay” Mendoza clone cuttings were collected from the Agricultural Department ‘Source Block’ in the Swan Valley and planted in 1976. After establishing its ultimate suitability to the region and increased demand, blocks 3 & 4 were planted in the early 80’s from the original vines on the Estate as well as a small block of ‘Clones 3 & 5’ collected from the Leeuwin Estate vineyard. Originally all VSP trellised and spur pruned, the vineyard was converted to cane pruned, with +70% lyre trellis in the mid 90’s with immediate and brilliant results. Coupled with the application of composted mulch, for the past 8 years, the vineyard shows remarkable health and balance producing super premium fruit year in year out as evidenced by the 2002 being awarded by James Halliday as the top Chardonnay in Australia on release.

Tasting notes: Our 5 blocks of mature Chardonnay vines were harvested over 3 days to ensure the optimal flavour profiles of each block were captured. All fruit was hand harvested in the cool of dawn, immediately destemmed and pressed and the juice settled in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Only brand new French oak is used to balance and enhance the powerful fruit flavours our Chardonnay consistently achieves. Upon completion of primary fermentation both the wooded and unwooded portions were allowed to mature on undisturbed lees for 8 months. Malolactic fermentation and battonage were avoided to retain the primary fruit qualities and freshness crucial to our style of Chardonnay. The finished wine has 12 months of bottle maturation in our underground climate controlled cellar ensuring a perfectly integrated, delicious and complex wine on release which will age graciously for many years to come.

Alc/vol: 13.6%

expert reviews about

Ashbrook Estate Chardonnay

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2014 Vintage) says
Made in similar fashion to the '13 Reserve Chardonnay, the difference fruit selection. Tasted side by side, you can see exactly how this wine will develop over both the short and long term; the fruit line is tensed like the string of a bow, oak and acidity ready to act in support as the wine ages; the flavours are quintessentially varietal, with melon, apple grapefruit and white peach all straining at the leash.
Drink by 2024
95
James Halliday (2012 Vintage) says
50% was fermented and matured in new French oak barriques for 8 months, the other half held in stainless steel until being blended; the wine was then bottle-aged for a further 12 months before release. Gleaming yellow-green; the winemaking approach has had the desired result of a wine that combines freshness with complexity and controlled generosity; the flavours are very much in the white peach/nectarine spectrum, with some creamy cashew notes from the oak-matured portion; excellent overall balance.
Till 2020
Wine Companion
94
James Halliday (2011 Vintage) says
Gleaming pale green-gold colour leads into a largely fruit-driven bouquet and palate with white peach, melon and grapefruit all on display. It has excellent drive and depth, oak evident throughout, but held well in check by the fruit.
Australian Wine Companion 2014 Edition 2013
94
James Halliday (2010 Vintage) says
Mid gold; a big and ripe wine showing grapefruit, fresh fig, pineapple and plenty of spice; the palate is richly textured on entry, with the backbone of vibrant acidity cleaning it up and delivering a full flavoured, yet lively conclusion.
To 2018
Australian Wine Companion 2013
94
James Halliday (2009 Vintage) says
Straw-green; a beautifully balanced and proportioned wine with nectarine and white peach fruit, subtle French oak, and a dazzlingly long finish and aftertaste achieved without obvious effort. The vineyard speaks for itself.
2019
Australian Wine Companion 2012
95
Ray Jordan (2009 Vintage) says
Perhaps a slightly more restrained version of Ashbrook on the nose especially, but that palate delivers a decent bang. It's a fuller riper style more in the tropical spectrum but the oak and fine acid hold it neatly in check. A highly textural; wine with loads of flavour.
The West Australian Wine Guide
90
James Halliday (2008 Vintage) says
Glowing yellow-green; in the mainstream of Margaret River chardonnay, with a depth of flavour seldom found in other regions; luscious stone fruit with toasty/creamy notes from barrel ferment in new oak, and 6 months' maturation in oak.
Australian Wine Companion 2011 2010
94
Ray Jordan (2008 Vintage) says
The Ashbrook Chardonnay holds nothing back in palate and aromatic intensity. This is another in the Ashbrook style although perhaps just a little more reserved and controlled. Complex mix of light stone fruit and cashew with a subtle citrus lift. Already quite complex with a touch of finishing funk for added interest.Ê
Ray Jordan's 2011 WA Wine Guide 2011
92
James Halliday (2007 Vintage) says
Glowing green-yellow; showing the first signs of bottle development, white peach and barrel-ferment French oak equally balanced and integrated, cashew characters adding to the all-up flavour, and to the considerable length.
Australian Wine Companion 2010 2009
94
James Halliday (2006 Vintage) says
An extremely complex wine; some deliberate funky characters of white Burgundy; grape fruit and nectarine fruit with well-balanced and integrated oak.
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
96
James Halliday (2005 Vintage) says
Light straw-green; tight citrus and stone fruit with a touch of spicy oak; good length; needs - and will repay - time.
Australian Wine Companion 2008 2007
92
James Halliday (2004 Vintage) says
Controlled barrel ferment and oak maturation support the ripe nectarine and peach fruit of both bouquet and palate; supple and mouthfilling.
Australian Wine Companion 2007 2006
94
James Halliday (2002 Vintage) says
Glowing light green-yellow; very complex aromas and intense flavours; exceptional mouthfeel and weight; smoky barrel ferment on luscious nectarine and white peach fruit; long finish. Best Wine of Show '04 Margaret River Wine Show.
Australian Wine Companion 2006 2005
97
James Halliday (2001 Vintage) says
Medium yellow-green; a complex bouquet with an array of fig and melon fruit, nutty/cashew malolactic influences and subtle oak, then a fruit-forward palate with fig and cashew flavours, closing with good acidity. Slightly less intense than the very best vintages, but as stylish as ever.
Australian Wine Companion 2004 2003
91
Ray Jordan (2001 Vintage) says
This is yet another super chardonnay from these guys. About half has been fermented in new French oak with a further six months maturation. There are deep nutty stone fruit characters on he nose with a tart cut of grapefruit and tangy citrus. The palate delivers some quality fruit with power and concentration. I love the texture and mouth feel. Consistently now among the best chardonnays in Margaret River
Ray Jordan's 2004 WA Wine Guide 2004
91
James Halliday (2000 Vintage) says
Medium yellow-green; an intense, aromatic and complex bouquet with smoky barrel ferment and tangy fruit aromas; the palate is high powered, long and intense, more fruit than oak driven.
Australian Wine Companion 2003 2002
94
James Halliday (1998 Vintage) says
Medium yellow-green; the bouquet offers a sophisticated and seamless marriage between fruit and oak; the very elegant palate is exceptionally smooth, with melon and citrus fruit the driver, subtle oak the backdrop.
Australian Wine Companion 2001 2001
93

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