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Sandalford Estate Reserve Chardonnay

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When we see a reserve release Chardonnay from Sandalford we get excited because we have a soft spot for Margaret River Chardonnay in all its guises. This is top-notch stuff, eschewing outdated Chardonnay practices for less alcohol, less oak and an emphasis on fruit to create a modern, lean style that is gaining a worldwide reputation. An elegant stone fruit nose with a subtle oak influence, these flavours are mirrored on the palate letting the structure and the balance of the wine take centre stage. Precise natural acids lend it a complex finish before fruit and mineral persistence ensure this will go the distance in the cellar.

Winemaker's Notes

Vintage: The mild spring conditions merged into a warm and dry start to summer, with the vines on track slightly earlier than normal. These conditions were interrupted in mid-January 16, with 70mm of rain falling in the vineyard due to a tropical rain event. With this moisture came the challenge of increased fungal pressure on the fruit – 2 weeks out from the white harvest (leading to a very stressed Viticulturalist and Winemaker). For the reds, it gave them a much appreciated drink in the lead up to harvest in late March. Despite this challenge, all fruit harvested are of exceptional quality, showing intense varietal characters.

Winemakers comments: This wine is from 100% Estate grown, old vine Chardonnay, which was harvested in early February 2016. Only the free-run juice was used. Only French oak barriques were used for fermentation (20% new, 20% in 1 year old and the remainder in older barriques). Again we used a combination of traditional wine yeasts, the Saccharomyces species and the non-traditional Torulaspora Delbueckii. This mix of yeast has added to the complexity of flavours in the resulting blend. Approximately 5% of this wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was left “sur lies” in barrel for 8 months prior to blending, stabilisation, filtration and bottling.

Tasting notes:
Colour: Pale lemon and lime.
Nose: Opening with white peaches and cashews, it opens up to grapefruit and caramelised lemon & limes.
Palate: This is an austere wine, full of stone fruits, cashews, citrus and honey flavours. There are vanilla and toasty notes from the French oak. The oak is beautifully integrated and adds a lovely texture to the palate. The cleansing acidity gives this wine structure and a wonderful length on the finish. Cellaring in proper conditions will give more complexity for those who like a bigger richer style.

Alc/vol: 12.0%

expert reviews about

Sandalford Estate Reserve Chardonnay

Expert Reviews

Wine Companion (2015 Vintage) says
Only free-run juice used, two yeasts (one usual, the other Torulsaspora delbuckii), fermented in French oak (20% new) and matured on lees for 8 months. Bright straw-green, the bouquet is of white peach, apple and vanilla, a long, intense and finely boned palate adds grapefruity acidity.
Drink by 2025
95
Rob Geddes MW (2012 Vintage) says
Very pretty poised wine with ripe fuji apple and stone fruit, white nectarine varietal purity. The palate shows subtle oak influence with silky texture and the apple nectarine fruit flavours are long, before the tangy firm finish. Fresh style and very well handled wine.
2015
Rob Geddes MW
91
James Halliday (2012 Vintage) says
Pale straw, vibrant green hue; the restrained bouquet offers grapefruit, nectarine and fresh cashew; the palate is lively, fresh and taut, with a long, dry and mineral-laden finish.
To 2018
Australian Wine Companion 2014 Edition
94
James Halliday (2009 Vintage) says
Shows that elegance and fruit freshness can be achieved with ripe grapes and 10 months in oak following barrel fermentation; white peach and nectarine flavours course through the long palate and bright finish.
To 2015
Australian Wine Companion 2011
94
Rob Geddes MW (2009 Vintage) says
Margaret River has a consistent fresh-cut pear flavour across its chardonnay. In some it dominates and in others it is part of the story. This rich wine has the fresh fruit, distinct acid and low oak to highlight its ripe pear flavours.
2013
Australian Wine Vintages
90
Rob Geddes MW (2008 Vintage) says
Margaret River has a consistent fresh-cut pear flavour across its chardonnay. In some it dominates and in others it is part of the story. This rich wine has the fresh fruit, distinct acid and low oak to highlight its ripe pear flavours.
2013
Australian Wine Vintages
90
Ray Jordan (2008 Vintage) says
This has lots of vanillin oak and fruit intensity with touches minerals and nougat. Shows the continued development of Sandalford chardonnay over the past couple of years. Boulden has turned to more hand making and free run juice with a lot more labour intensiveness. Beautifully precise and linear with a purity about it. Full barrel fermentation and no malolacatic fermentation.
Ray Jordan's 2010 WA Wine Guide
93
Ray Jordan (2007 Vintage) says
I reckon this is as good as any Chardonnay Sandalford have made; it's a beauty. The palate structure and texture are superb, providing depth and power with a refreshing delicacy. Persistent palate that seems to keep lifting forever. Superb wine.
Ray Jordan's 2009 WA Wine Guide 2009
95

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