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West Cape Howe Western Australia Chardonnay

Cracka Rating

Cracka Review

Unwooded Chardonnay is a style that many of the ABC crowd can still manage to get their heads around. The reason they went off the variety in the first place was because Chardonnay was oaky and full bodied. It makes marketing sense to spell out if a Chardonnay has not seen oak treatment as all you’ll get is pure, unadulterated fruit, just as the vineyard intended.

This is all class in a glass from the south of W.A. imbued with melons, pineapple, apples; in fact the whole darn fruit bowl has been emptied into the bottle. All you need to know is that it’s balanced, crisp and refreshing and more importantly has no strong oak flavours.

Winemaker's Notes

Appearance: Brilliant clarity. Pale straw in colour with a green tint.

Nose: Citrus and melon aromas with hints of toasted oak.

Palate: Medium bodied wine with stone fruit flavours, particularly yellow nectarine. Excellent palate length, textural oak, and a persistent citrus finish.

Cellaring: Made for immediate consumption, will cellar for up to one year.

Alcohol: 13.5%

expert reviews about

West Cape Howe Western Australia Chardonnay

Expert Reviews

James Halliday (2012 Vintage) says
Pale straw-green; picked at the exact moment (or moments for multiple pickings) for the unwooded style, avoiding a crossover into sauvignon blanc, but not losing natural acidity; white peach, citrus and some tropical notes do the trick.
To 2014
Australian Wine Companion 2014 Edition
90
James Halliday (2009 Vintage) says
A wine style to seduce the most ardent sauvignon blanc lover, with crisp and vibrant grapefruit and nectarine flavours running through to the long, clean finish.
Australian Wine Companion 2011 2010
93
James Halliday (2008 Vintage) says
The cool-climate background invests the wine with abundant peach and nectarine fruit flavour; balanced finish.
Australian Wine Companion 2010 2009
89
James Halliday (2007 Vintage) says
An excellent example of cool-climate unoaked chardonnay; grapefruit and mandarin flavours, generous and satisfying, but neatly trimmed by acidity.
Australian Wine Companion 2009 2008
90
Ken Gargett (2007 Vintage) says
One of my pet hates is bog average unwooded chardy and, with the exception of some stunners from Chablis itself, that's almost all of them. They're just dull like dishwater. A little oak, used judiciously, is what makes this variety light up. However, it's a big beautiful world full of diversity, and some people actually like the stuff. This one's much better than your average no-oak chardy so if that's your thing, this is your wine.
Don't Buy Wine Without Me 2008 2007
88
James Halliday (2005 Vintage) says
As usual, offers more than most unwooded Chardonnays on the market. Grapefruit and nectarine run through the light-bodied but long palate.
Australian Wine Companion 2007 2006
87
James Halliday (2004 Vintage) says
Clever winemaking with some complexity to the aromatics; plenty of stone fruit and citrus flavour, but not phenolic.
Australian Wine Companion 2006 2005
89
Ken Gargett (2004 Vintage) says
Five years ago unwooded chardonnay was hotter than the new Monaro; now I'm afraid it's looking more like a Chrysler Sigma. (I used to love my Sigma until I learnt, as so many other Sigma drivers have, about the tendency of the roof lining to collapse and render the driver unsighted.) But this wine could almost give unwooded chardonnay a good nameÑit's got stone fruit and passionfruit flavours, nice fresh acid and to date no problem with the detailing.
Don't Buy Wine Without Me 2005 2005
James Halliday (2003 Vintage) says
Aromatic and lively, with cool-grown grapefruit and stone fruit aromas and flavours, finishing with cleansing acidity. Fully deserved its gold medal at the Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia.
Australian Wine Companion 2005 2004
92
Max Allen & Peter Forrestal (2003 Vintage) says
The smart West Cape Howe cellar door and winery is close to Denmark in Western Australia's Great Southern area. Brenden Smith and his team have been making excellent wines consistently, especially since gaining access to fruit from the mature vines of the Landsdale vineyard at Mount Barker. This is vibrant with intense, cool, passionfruit and nectarine flavours and a crisp, crunchy finish.
Quaff 2004 2003
Ray Jordan (2002 Vintage) says
Crisper and tighter than the previous vintage and for that reason, a slightly better wine. I'm generally not mad about unwooded chardonnays, but I'll make an exception with this one
Ray Jordan's 2004 WA Wine Guide 2004
84
James Halliday (2001 Vintage) says
Light to medium green-yellow; the clean and fresh bouquet offers melon and grapefruit/citrus, the palate with good fruit and mouthfeel, the flavours tracking those of the bouquet. Above average for this style.
Australian Wine Companion 2003 2002
86
James Halliday (1999 Vintage) says
Light to medium yellow-green; the bouquet is quite aromatic, with melon and citrus; the clean, fresh palate with nectarine and citrus flavours running through to a moderately long finish
Australian Wine Companion 2001 2001
82

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