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Led by the husband-and-wife team of David Bicknell (iconic Chardonnay craftsman from Oakridge) and Nicole Harris, Bicknell FC's focus is entirely on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir sourced from premium vineyards in the Yarra Valley. This beautiful Chardonnay comes from the higher altitude Willowlake vineyard in Gladysdale. It's hand-picked and hand-sorted, then whole-bunch pressed into older French oak. The quality of the fruit is impeccable, the winemaking as minimalist as possible. To try this wine is to see one of Australia's modern winemaking masters at work. The balance and detail is dumbfounding, the complexity a thing of beauty. Astonishingly and disappointingly, there were only 40 dozen made. First come, first served.
What it Tastes Like
Flinty, ironstone, defined by a mineral edge. The slightly savoury oak meshes beautifully with the fruit. The flavours are reminiscent of lemon preserve, lime zest and grapefruit. Some hints of meal and river stones skip through the palate but it's the bracing power of the whole package which is so impressive. Focused. Impenetrable. Intense. Yet somehow still lean and stealthy. Prodigious length which hits the afterburners. Cracking Chardonnay.
Origin – Sourced from the 1988 planted Stewart vineyard at the top of Price’s Rd, Gladysdale. We have leased and farm the vineyard ourselves, which we are slowly restoring to full production. With poor flowering, the crop load was only 0.8t/Ha. The vineyard is at 360m ASL, some 160m higher in elevation than Willowlake. It is north facing and in the deep red volcanic soils with much of the vineyard on a 25-30° slope. Not easy, but great for calf muscles. Technical – Handpicked and wholebunch pressed, natural fermentation – left on fermentation lees for 11 months and racked directly to bottle without fining or filtration. Handbottled in March 2015.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2026
About the Producer
With the title as James Halliday’s Best New Winery in 2016 and a swathe of whopping reviews, Bicknell FC is one of the most exciting new producers in the country. Led by the husband-and-wife team of David Bicknell and Nicole Harris, Bicknell FC’s focus is entirely on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - both sourced from premium vineyards in the Yarra Valley.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
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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