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If you don't know Gary Mills, if you don't know his label Jamsheed, you need too. His wines have been called _"a revelation"_ amongst other equally grandiose terms of praise and with good reason. The Madame Chard is a cheeky little mistress. In the same vain as the other wines in the Harem series, the Madame is about good, honest, fun drinking. Mills' aim was to craft "a Chardonnay that tastes like Chardonnay - not bloody sauvignon blanc!" and he's nailed the MO. Mike Bennie loved the 2016 release of the Madame, offering, "This punches way above its weight." The perfect all-rounder Chardonnay from a great producer and a steal at the price.
What it Tastes Like
"Complex, mineral laden, savoury. That’s three words that jostle with the ripe apple and faint citrus fruit characters. Some will find the yeasty, nutty characters a touch much in their chardonnay, but then there will be those who kowtow to this wild, quite rich and yet satisfying expression. It’s arrogantly at the other end of what Australia’s ‘fine wine canon’ for chardonnay is now (linear, racy, skeletal), and I love it for that. I love that this conversation and potentially lunatic drinking comes at RRP $22…" - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
93 points. "Beechworth and Yarra Valley in a congress of chardonnay. The chardonnay ferments naturally and then spends time in older oak barrels, on its lees, before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Just fermented chardonnay here. Nice styling. This punches way above its weight. Complex, mineral laden, savoury. That’s three words that jostle with the ripe apple and faint citrus fruit characters. Some will find the yeasty, nutty characters a touch much in their chardonnay, but then there will be those who kowtow to this wild, quite rich and yet satisfying expression. It’s arrogantly at the other end of what Australia’s ‘fine wine canon’ for chardonnay is now (linear, racy, skeletal), and I love it for that. I love that this conversation and potentially lunatic drinking comes at RRP $22…" - Mike Bennie (The Wine Front)
Predominantly fruit from a single vineyard in the Yarra Valley with a small portion coming from the Warner vineyard in Beechworth. Handpicked and whole bunch pressed with full solids to new 800L (20%) Rousseau muids and older barrels, fermented with indigenous yeasts and left sur lees for 8 months before being bottled unfiltered and unfined with minimal sulphur additions.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2020
About the Producer
Gary Mills is a rockstar of Victorian wine. His Jamsheed wines are amongst the most exciting in the country: thrilling, authentic wines packed with personality. Campbell Mattinson labelled him “a leading producer”, Jamie Good called him “the new face of Australian wine” and Matthew Jukes went as far as to call the wine of Jamsheed “a revelation”. With a specific focus on the regional differences in Victorian Syrah for his Jamsheed range, Gary has been one of the loudest advocates for the inclusion of whole bunch ferments and was ahead of the curve in creating minimal intervention wines that naturally convey the characteristics of their respective vineyards. Wild, electric and a little left of centre, Jamsheed is one of the Victoria’s most compelling producers.
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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