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The Merricks Chardonnay is the most sought-after of the Garagiste white wines.
It’s the most powerful of Barney’s Chardonnays, the kind of wine that blows your hair back. The fruit was as good as it gets in 2015 on the Peninsula: ripe, balanced and incredibly intense - the perfect raw materials for Barney to strut his Chardy-making stuff.
Barney is one of the finest Chardonnay makers in the region and this 2015 release is some of his best work to date. Campbell Mattinson rated it 95 points crystallising the fact that if you’ve loved his wines in the past, the 2015 is a knockout not to be missed. If you’re yet to give them a shot, prepare to have your world rocked by this boutique artisanal producer.
What It Tastes Like
Exceptional power here. Whiffs of sulphides and struck matchstick, peach and nectarine. All this tied up with a little barrel-derived funk. It’s taught with ripe fruit and the drive through the palate is formidable. Pure intensity and fruit weight with spiced apple notes and slick oak. Simply stunning. Benchmark Mornington Chardonnay.
97 points “This is like the crescendo of Nessun Dorma, sung by Pavarotti of course, this soars and the length goes on and on. To get there, there’s a balance of grapefruit, pith and white stone fruit, flinty, gingery and peppery with woodsy spices - the oak adds another layer of complexity as does the lees character. A high - you won’t want to come down.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
95 points “How powerful can a wine be before it loses its elegance? This tests the definition. It’s straw-coloured and powerfully flavoured and yet it floats and sings in harmony. It’s an elegant portrait of this wonderful white grape. It’s juicy with ripe nectarine and white peach, comes dripping with pear and fig, and cuts long with spicy, flinty, nutty goodness. There’s a rind-like character here, an extra bite to the flavour. It’s the icing on a gorgeous wine.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
Soured from Merricks in Mornington Penisula.
This wine has undergone partial Malolactic fermentation, exhibiting delicate natural acidity and minerality.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2025
About the Producer
Garagiste is the brainchild of Barnaby Flanders. After leaving Allied Wines in 2003 he embarked on a mission to produce small batch premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under his own label in his beloved Mornington Peninsula. Barney loves the sub-regionality to be exploited in Mornington Peninsula, the slight alterations in aspect and soil profile within this small wine producing region provide him with the scaffolding around which he builds his stunning harem of small batch wines. They are only ever made in small quantities so time is of the essence if you want to explore the world of Garagiste.
The Mornington Peninsula has become a go-to destination for lovers of modern Australian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Mornington’s perfect climatic conditions for producing these varieties has seen it become, in only a relatively short time, one of the premier regions for these varieties in the country. The wines are beautiful. The best examples are wines which show a restrained power. Both intensity and elegance. It’s a region which will continue to blossom and mature for many years to come.
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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