2022 Bannockburn Grigsby Chardonnay

Highly Rated
Poise and focus galore in this exquisite organic Chardonnay from Geelong's iconic Bannockburn estate.

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Description

Bannockburn is a little slice of Burgundy in coastal Victoria, producing world-class Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs alongside a few other varietals. This 'Grigsby' Chardonnay (named after Lucas Grigsby who has been managing the estate vineyards for more than three decades) is a single-block organic Chardonnay, estate-grown release.

There is concentration and elegance together here: some power and plushness, plus a fine finish and tight acidity. Hand-picked grapes, fermented in oak before maturing in wood as well (all old oak).

One for keeping, but tasty at the moment as well.

"A very complex chardonnay, full and rich and generous in the mouth with a long-lasting aftertaste. A ripping chardonnay."
- 96pts, Huon Hooke (The Real Review)

Certified organic. Lucas Grigsby is a Bannockburn legend. He has been the viticultural manager for the last 35 years and knows these vineyards like nobody ever has or likely ever will. The Grigsby is a single-vineyard, organic-certified wine, sourced from close-planted vines that were grafted over from Shiraz in 2018. The clone is Bernard 76, and the block is planted to 1.2-metre rows with 1-metre vine spacing, on a north-south row orientation.

The soils comprise dark cracking clay over weathered basalt and limestone. Grigsby and Holmes introduced the Bernard clone to Bannockburn to expand the vineyard’s clonal palette, which, in the beginning, was mostly Penfolds clones. Holmes does not dwell on the contrast, but he does notice a certain chalky tension in the Grigsby Chardonnay compared to the more voluminous fruit of the S.R.H.

The fruit was pressed as whole bunches and settled overnight before being racked to hogsheads (25% new) for fermentation and malolactic conversion (70%). The wine matured for 10 months on lees with no stirring. The 2022 is a wine of great presence, energy and drive. Huon and Ned call it well.

96 points - "Light-medium yellow colour with a rich and toasty/oaky bouquet that enshrines nougat, roasted hazelnuts and creamy lees derived facets. A very complex chardonnay, full and rich and generous in the mouth with a long-lasting aftertaste. A ripping chardonnay." - Huon Hooke (The Real Review)

95 points - "A high density planting, certified organic. Palate-staining intensity of flavor. Riveting scents of nuts and nectarines, with crystalline acidity to mineral pungency, glittering across the tightly furled palate like glycerine diamonds. This is a gorgeous wine of spellbinding complexity in waiting, just palpable already, but held in an embryonic state of tension. This will age exceptionally well. Drink or hold, but better after 2026. Screw cap." - Ned Goodwin MW (JamesSuckling.com)

Bannockburn

For decades, the Bannockburn vineyard has been producing Burgundian-inspired wines which truly reflect a unique patch of Australian terroir.

Originally planted by founder Stuart Hooper and the great Gary Farr in the early 1970s, the wines that come from this special vineyard in Geelong show a rare sense of place. The ancient riverbed soils that sit below the vines impart a distinct saline character for the whites and an awesome power in the reds which makes the wines from this place immediately identifiable.

Matt Holmes is the current winemaker, having taken over from Michael Glover after years as assistant winemaker. His wines have been receiving great critical acclaim during his tenure and this great Australian vineyard's legacy seems very safe in his capable hands.

Winemaker Matt Holmes - Geelong, VIC Bannockburn

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