March 26, 2010

Shaw & Smith M3 2008 Chardonnay

This is a Chardonnay from the cool Adelaide Hills to revive your interest in this still popular, but now more hardworking, varietal.  The M3 is not hardwork to drink at all, but is however hand crafted and skilfully at that.  The grapes that survived a pre-harvest culling … oops, thinning, were hand picked and whole bunch chilled.  After barrel ferment, using 50% wild yeast, the wine was left on lees (sur lie) and was stirred each week for ten months in a process called batonnage.  All this attention has produced a wine that is creamy and silky, rather than it getting surly as you might expect.

Seriously, the end result is a wine that has creamy tropical pineapple and ripe stonefruit appeal with a steely mineral backbone.  The oak is certainly present but in a lightly toasted nutty character supporting the creamy texture of the wine. It finishes long and is finely balanced and well integrated. The team aimed for elegance and restraint and I think that they hit the mark despite what could have been a difficult vintage.

Date: 14th February 2010   Price: $ 38  Value: $$$  Drink: Now – 5 years


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