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Shaw and Smith M3 Chardonnay

Cracka Rating

Cracka Review

Some may well argue the point, but we think that this is one of the finest Chardonnays in Australia. Admittedly this is a warmer vintage for the wine, but no questioning the glory on show here.

So what makes it so good you ask? Refinement. Following the trend of so many smart Australian Chardy producers, they've turned the oak down, picked the fruit earlier, and used wild fermentation cleverly all in the name of making a more complex, less overt and less OTT style of wine that plays more on good Chardonnay fruit than on winemaking trickery.

Worthy stuff.

Winemaker's Notes


Whole bunches chilled overnight prior to pressing. Barrel fermentation in new, one and two year old French barriques. Wild yeast fermentation and partial malolactic fermentation add complexity and mouth-­‐feel.


Nine months in barrique, with some lees stirring to build complexity. Special care is taken not to over oak the wine, maintaining fruit integrity.


A beautifully complex nose showing lemon, apple and white peach along with biscuit notes.


The palate displays trademark M3 elegance and restraint with an extra dimension of creaminess through the finish. A wine of depth and concentration that balances generous fruit flavours with savoury characters and crisp acidity.

Food Matching

Grilled King George Whiting with a caper butter sauce.

Vintage Notes

2014 was not without its challenges, with small crops due to some unsettled weather during flowering. In mid-­‐February a string of half a dozen hot days ended with a significant amount of rain over 24 hours. The following four weeks of dry, mild and sunny weather from late February was just what the vines needed, and the results are very exciting.

Alc/Vol: 12.5%

expert reviews about

Shaw and Smith M3 Chardonnay

Expert Reviews

Rob Geddes MW (2012 Vintage) says
Back into great growing conditions, this style is showing its usual pear and nectarine fruit aromas with supple and subtle creamy lees winemaking elements. The palate's a graceful rendition of modern chardonnay with just ripe pear and nectarine, subtle nougaut lees influence with fresh acidity, and a youthful finish. Tasted in early 2013 this wine is a bench mark of the Hills style.
Rob Geddes MW
James Halliday (2012 Vintage) says
Pale straw-green; a very elegant and finely structured wine, with white stone fruit, melon and grapefruit flavours, the acidity perfectly balanced, the oak restrained.
To 2020
Australian Wine Companion 2014 Edition
James Halliday (2010 Vintage) says
The formula is tried and true: hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed in a cool environment; wild yeast barrel fermentation in a refrigerated cuverie, lees contact and partial mlf with a neutral innoculant; stone fruit, citrus, cashew and fig all combine seamlessly on the long and flawless palate.
to 2018
Halliday's Top 100 Aussie Wines 2011
Tyson Stelzer (2010 Vintage) says
Like the sports coupe of the same name, the classic, streamlined style of M3 has returned in 2010, with exhilarating curves of grapefruit and white peach and a gentle purr of oak under the bonnet.
Wine100, November Issue
James Halliday (2009 Vintage) says
Pale but bright straw-green; the bouquet has some fragrant blossom notes that merge into the multi-layered palate with its display of white peach, nectarine and fig, then distinctly creamy cashew notes before what can only be described as seductive acidity on the finish.
Australian Wine Companion 2012 2011
James Halliday (2008 Vintage) says
A fragrant bouquet of nectarine, white peach and a hint of citrus rind leads into a vibrant, fresh and very long palate; you know the French oak is there, but it speaks very quiedy.
Australian Wine Companion 2010 2009
James Halliday (2007 Vintage) says
A beautifully crafted wine with great depth and power; incredibly rich, with lashings of fine French oak and stone fruits; the depth and power is offset by lively acidity, and a complex mineral
Australian Wine Companion 2010 2009
Jeremy Oliver (2007 Vintage) says
Long, smooth and creamy, this finely crafted and stylish chardonnay has a delicate, lightly floral and waxy perfume of lemon, vanilla, honeysuckle and cinnamon knit with buttery, vanilla oak. It supple, rather fluffy palate reveals layers of restrained grapefruit/melon flavour, slightly brassy oak and wheatmeal, moving evenly towards a fresh, lingering finish of lemony acids, persistent fruit and clove.
Australian Wine Annual 2009 2008
James Halliday (2006 Vintage) says
Superfine and elegant, all the components seamlessly married; whole bunch pressing, wild yeast and partial mlf; nectarine and citrus fruit, quality oak, and a lingering finish. Beautiful wine, near the very top of the Australian tree.
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
Ken Gargett (2006 Vintage) says
Messrs Shaw and (Hill-)Smith are justly famous for their benchmark sauv blanc; they've also snuck under the radar with an excellent Adelaide Hills shiraz. But for me, it's this superb chardy which is the jewel in the S&S crown. They have put an enormous amount of work into all aspects of this wine, from the vineyard to the winery, and the results manifest in the ever-improving quality. Puts many more expensive chardies to shame.
Don't Buy Wine Without Me 2008 2007
James Halliday (2004 Vintage) says
A wine of marvellous finesse; elegant but intense melon, citrus, nectarine and pear; malolactic and barrel ferment inputs there without trumpeting their presence. Vibrant.
Australian Wine Companion 2007 2006
James Halliday (2003 Vintage) says
Complex, intense and tight aromas and flavours of stone fruit, melon and fig interlaced with cashew and spicy oak in the background; a fine example of winemaking.
Australian Wine Companion 2006 2005
James Halliday (2002 Vintage) says
The bouquet shows complex but not aggressive barrel ferment inputs, the melon and cashew palate supple, smooth and long, the result of sophisticated craftsmanship.
Australian Wine Companion 2005 2004

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