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Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

Tony Love is a writer, wine lover and proud Adelaide Hills resident.

Tony Love was named the Wine Communicators of Australia 2018 Legend of the Vine (SA), was a member of the Halliday Wine Companion reviewing team for the 2022 edition, reviews for Winepilot and judges at regional and capital city shows. He is the South Australian Wine Ambassador for the Asian-Pacific Region.

1
Sidewood Chardonnay 2022

Adelaide Hills
12.3% | $26
One of several variations on Sidewood’s Chardonnay success story, this one their first tier that represents fantastic value with great style.
From a cooler vintage with attractive ripeness, gently roasted yellow stone fruit flavours, melon too, subtle oak adding a background woodiness rather than vanilla creams, balanced neatly with entwined acidity.
And talk about pedigree: Sidewood’s more elite 2021 Mappinga Chardonnay won best Chardonnay, Best White and Best Wine in Show at last year’s Adelaide Hills Wine Show.

2
Gentle Folk Chardonnay 2023

Adelaide Hills
12.5% | $40
Created chiefly from three vineyards at Charleston, Piccadilly and Lenswood, each provide their own element to deliver a delicious regional-varietal expression of the grape.
Aromas start with streusel bun and fresh cut nectarine, gentle oak notes adding a subtle depth, midway between earthy and creamy. Everything that’s desirable about Adelaide Hills Chardonnay is all here in a complete wine, start to finish.
Also in the Gentle Folk Chardonnay portfolio are three specific site iterations from vineyards in Carey Gully (labelled “Scary Gully”), Piccadilly and Ashton.

3
Howard Amos

Chardonnay 2023
Adelaide Hills
12.5% | $55
Howard Vineyard’s focus on Chardonnay is most evident with two Blanc de Blancs sparklings in its range as well as two tiers of classy lunch and dinner wines.
This is the top shelf offer from the estate’s “Beautiful Valley” vineyard at Charleston, a lovely fuller style that expresses discreet winemaking – nine months in 30% new French oak which has been generously soaked up by fabulous fruit – allowing mellow flavours in the peach to quince zone to sing to their heart’s content.
Pure Chardonnay joy.

4
Shaw+Smith M3

Chardonnay 2023
Adelaide Hills
12.5% | $56
One of the Adelaide Hills’ great Chardonnay ambassadors for many years, the M3 is Shaw+Smith’s total regional expression of the variety, sourced from three vineyards in Piccadilly, Lenswood and Lobethal. From the cooler than average ’23 vintage, the wine reflects the year with aplomb, the nose offering white nectarine, flesh and skins, wet gravel senses and Australian bush florals, the palate reverbing all these with an extra tension wire of yellow grapefruit flesh acidity and flavour.
High precision, glorious Chardonnay pleasure.

5
Tapanappa Piccadilly Valley

Chardonnay 2023
Piccadilly Valley/Adelaide Hills
12.5% | $60
While Brian Croser’s own Tiers Vineyard is where it all started and remains a hero in the story of Adelaide Hills Chardonnay via a more specific single site wine, he also offers this wider Valley style from several sources to showcase this renowned sub-region. The long, slow 2023 ripening season has delivered a noticeably intense wine, richly layered and textured with precise and finessed oak within, enhancing its just ripe white nectarine fruit.
A touch of lemony zip in the palate gives an exciting energy in the finish to what is ultimately a fabulous statement of the variety right at home.

6
CRFT The Arranmore Vineyard

Chardonnay 2023
Adelaide Hills
12% | $65
One of two CRFT (pronounced Craft) Chardonnays, this comes from Candice Helbig and Frewin Ries’ own five-acre organic block in Carey Gully, in fact just eight rows (the other is from the Lansdowne Vineyard in Forreston).
Reflecting their own love of the variety’s deeper flavour profile and richer characters, the home block Arranmore spends nine months in 45% new oak, the capture of fruit and acidity beautifully balanced, lime squeezed over peach for a suggestion, with crushed almond as a base. Plenty going on here, a wine with latent power and always exciting.

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