Though he has become known for his weird and wonderful styles of wine, Brad Wehr, at his core, still loves the classic Margaret River.
With the Mantra series “It’s all Margaret River, all small batch, all traditional Margies varieties.”.
His Muse Chardonnay is the flagship white wine in the range. With fruit from two small independent producers in the famous sub region of Wilyabrup. Some of the biggest names in Australian Chardonnay get their fruit from this small microclimate, and most of them use only one clone, the Gin Gin clone. Brad’s done very well to get a hold of this fruit.
Gin Gin and Wilyabrup, and Brad Wehr’s commitment to quality in this range, have yielded a wine that James Halliday said has “greater class and presence than the other wines in Brad’s portfolio.” and gave it 95 points.
We thought it looked brilliant at the moment. The essence of what Margaret River Chardonnay is all about.
What It Tastes Like
This isn’t the old school oak bomb Margie Chard, this comes with more than a touch of class. Flinty and minerally on opening, it unwinds itself in the glass to reveal fresh citurs and nectarines. It’s a linear style but with plenty of “flesh on the bones”. The fruit has gobbled up all the oak. Looks clean and fresh. Pretty serious stuff.
95 points. “There is no question that this Chardonnay has greater class and presence than the other wines in Brad’s portfolio. The varietal fruit expression is exceptionally fresh and vibrant, and has effortlessly absorbed the oak in which it was fermented; the piercing acidity holds all the multiple facets of the wine together and lengthens the finish immeasurably.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
93 points “Not sure what the price is. Can’t find it on the website. No price on the bottle. Let’s have a guess then?
Spicy cedar oak, lemon, pear, nectarine. Cool and modern style, but flavoursome, good acid, pear and citrus, a layer of spicy oak – fruit power and good wood – not much artifice but not too much fruit and wood either – all just so, and an attractive regional and varietal mix it is to boot. Fresh finish of spice and bright lemony/grapefruit sweetness. Almond biscuit in there too. Lovely wine. If only he’d put the price on the bottle, I reckon I might have gone 94 points.”
- Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
The Muse Chardonnay highlights all that is spectacular about Margaret River Chardonnay ‐ rich, ripe melon and fig, mineral peach and spicy nuttiness, toasty oak and creamy texture. A crisp minerality is exuded now in its relative youth, however the layers of lush flavour and textural richness coat the palate and linger long after the last mouthful.
50% Dijon-95 clone with 50% Gin-Gin clone from two Wilyabrup sites. Fermented in 25% new oak and matured for 10 months.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2020
About the Producer
Brad Wehr’s Amato Vino label is equal parts traditional and experimental. His Wine By Brad and Mantra labels exemplify the best of classic Margaret River varieties while the Amato Vino label showcases some of the most exciting experimental wines in the country. From innovative winemaking techniques and emerging varieties the eclectic and innovative, Amato Vino is a name to watch in the West.
Margaret River is recognised as one of the country’s finest wine growing regions. The quality of the region’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay rival the very best in the world. But Margaret River is no two-trick-pony. There, Tempranillo and Malbec are excelling, Touriga Nacional seems to be quite at home, Chenin Blanc is getting serious and even pockets of Nebbiolo are rearing their heads. Watch this space. Who knows what new surprises are just around the corner from this famous region.
Australian Chardonnay is a seductive variety that comes in all shapes and sizes. From the toasty and voluptuous to the lean, flinty and minerally, there is a Chardonnay out there to suit everyone. Australia’s developing prowess with this variety has been marked by the international community with wine writers such as Jancis Robinson marvelling at the outstanding value to be had right across the country. The prestige brands of Margaret River offer wines of deep flavour and power, often crafting fuller-figured Chardonnay of outstanding quality. The cooler-climate wines from the Yarra Valley, Tasmania and the like are more focused and linear, building complexity around a backbone of pristine acidity. Whatever your preference, there is an Australian Chardonnay to enchant all comers.
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