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The Garagiste wines by Barney Flanders are one of the Mornington Peninsula's most exciting operations. With a focus on Burgundian varieties and access to some of the Peninsula's best vineyard resources, Barney's wines are rightfully in high demand. The Le Stagiaire wines, the entry point to his label, offer exceptional value for money and a glimpse into Barney's prowess with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in particular. The 2016 Le Stagiaire Chardonnay is comprised of fruit from the Merricks and Tuerong vineyards. The wine shows complexity rarely seen at this price. Perhaps a little riper and more fruit forward than previous releases, the 2016 looks excellent on release and should be the perfect 'go-to' mid-week Chardonnay for particular aficionados of the variety.
What it Tastes Like
Classic bit of Garagiste reductive funk on the nose. Gun smoke, struck flint, white peach, melon and a hint of raw almond. Loads of flavour in the mouth, showing stonefruit and grapefruit with a crisp acidity offset by the slight creaminess of the oak. Hits all the right notes and drinks so well for a young Chardonnay.
96 points "This sets the pulse racing with its linearity, crisp acidity and extraordinary length. But there's a wealth of flavour too - the white stone fruit, citrus zest and juice, the kick of spice and a just the right amount of lees-creamy influence to add another layer of complexity but not weight. Oh and a bargain." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion) 93 points "The spotlight here in on chardonnay fruit; first, second and last. Exemplary fruit definition. To smell, to taste, to savour. The aroma of this wine is really quite something, the freshness and expression of its nectarine, white peach, grapefruit and dry pear notes quite perfect. The impression continues on into the mouth, where flint, lees and spice notes enter the fray. It then finishes with a burst of fruit, though it’s tangy fruit, long and lingering, flavour and acidity in lock-step. It’s super buying, and super drinking." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Alcohol: Drink Until: 2023
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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