"When Stephen George first planted his three-hectare Ashton Hills vineyard in the early 1980s, 12 different varieties went into the ground. Years of trials led to the removal of most of these vines and today only Pinot Noir and Riesling remain. This Chardonnay is therefore not from Estate vines, although the source block isn’t far away—it comes from a small parcel of vines in the Chapel Valley Block, adjacent to the old Piccadilly cemetery.
The 2019 was hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed direct to puncheon and barrique (with maximum solids). The wine underwent wild fermentation and was then kept on lees for nine months. Bottling occurred without filtration.
The result is a deep and chiseled release with plenty of white peach and nectarine aromatics and some cashew nut overtones, leading to a tightly wound palate. It’s vibrant and punchy, with the fruit beautifully hemmed in by Piccadilly’s nervy, pristine brightness. Just a twist of reduction adds to the complexity and freshness on the saline, grapefruity close. Certainly a racier version of this wine than we’ve seen in the past, and all the better for it!" - Bibendum
"At $35 chardonnay, this is spot on. The $35 chardonnay price point needs some flavour, some fireworks, not too much, not that flinty firework stuff, it needs crisp acidity for warm days but flavour for cooler ones. It needs to be BBQ friendly as it does present on Super Yachts to dress up a cheap host paying too much for the rental. It has to punch loud but with restraint. It needs stone fruits met by the faintest honey butter character.
It needs a hit of flavour and then to thin out into tangy freshness. The thinness drops the impression for a critic but the freshness works for the sauvignon blanc/riesling lover shoehorned into a chardonnay on Friday night drinks in the office. There’s glide and faint oak for the fancy set, nougat-and-cinnamon bun for the regular folk. It does all this, does it well, tastes delicious, refreshes and delights." - Wine Front