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Chris Catlow has found his niche as a winemaker. His mission is simple: to produce Burgundian inspired Chardonnay with a definite sense of place.
To grasp the full scope of his mission, his three regional Chardonnays should be tried side-by-side, but if you are just looking for to dip your toe in the Sentio pond, the Beechworth Chardonnay is a great place to start.
The Beechworth is Chris on his home court. His love of Chardonnay started during his time spent with the iconic Barry Morey at Sorenberg: “I worked with him quite a bit as a teenager (mostly annoyed him, I’m sure). He was the main reason I studied to be a winemaker.”
He makes this wine (as he does his other Chardonnays) simply; it isn’t adorned with too much oak, it’s powerful without being overblown. The throughline of minerality is pitched perfectly. It’s Beechworth through and through. Campbell Mattinson thought it “Has more than a little class about it but then again, it has a fair bit still tucked up its sleeves.”
He hits this square on its head.
What It Tastes Like
Powerhouse nose of matchsticks and flint. Flood of ripe golden fruit characters and a slick, glossy palate. This is Beechworth Chardonnay done with finesse. Love the tension in the wine. No malo, just crunchy, crysline acid. Feels like it’s not giving you all of itself just yet. The fruit is the star. Fantastic.
93 points. “Single vineyard chardonnay from the Beechworth region. Vineyard sits at 325 metres but exactly which vineyard it is, I’m not aware.
It tends towards the leaner, more structural side. It craves another year or so in bottle. White peach, almonds, white flowers and leesy-funky characters. Quartz. Has more than a little class about it but then again, it has a fair bit still tucked up its sleeves. Bone china style.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Chris Catlow is one of Beechworth’s most dynamic young winemakers. In his handmade winery he is crafting Burgundian inspired wines of impressive quality. The wines focus on power and drive, structure and articulation of site. He is exploring the regionality of Victoria with an incisive eye.
Beechworth is a small wine producing region with a big reputation. The distinctive terroir in this part of the country produces some of our most iconic wines. If you want serious Chardonnay or Rhone-inspired Shiraz/Syrah, you want to get to know Beechworth. Some of the most powerful cool climate wines in the country hail from here, and some of our future stars are making it their home. The future looks very bright for this champion Victorian 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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