Streicker | Old Vine Chardonnay | Margaret River | Australia | 2012 | $35 | 92 Points

streicker Chard“Highly Recommended”

It is not very often that we happen across an “Old Vine” Chardonnay (unlike Zinfandel), so this selection from Streicker in Australia’s Margaret River wine region piqued our curiosity. Sourced from the winery’s oldest vineyard — the Ironstone Vineyard, which was planted in 1976 and is among the oldest vineyards in Margaret River, with 64 acres (26 hectares) under vine today — this is a refined Chardonnay that could be mistaken for a fine white Burgundy. Aromas that suggest peach, honeysuckle, and marzipan are complemented by notes of pear, lemongrass, and hazelnut on the palate — all punctuated with undertones of ginger, citrus zest, and mineral over a creamy finish. It is dry, with tangy acidity, and the oak is subtle. The fruit was whole-cluster pressed and fermented in French oak barrels (40% new, 30% 2nd-fill, and 30% 3rd-fill) — with only 33% allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation — and the integrated wine aged in oak, on the lees, for an additional 10 months. We applaud Streicker’s approach here — limited malolactic fermentation and restrained use of oak — as these practices (in our estimation) preserve the wine’s natural fruit and acid characteristics and moderate impressions of “butter” and “vanilla” in the finished wine. The result is a Chardonnay of considerable purity and elegance, and a food-friendly one, at that. Serve it with creamy cheeses, pâtés and terrines, grilled fish, crab cakes, and other light and savory fare.

560 Cases Produced | 14% ABV

Availability: Streicker has limited distribution outside of Australia, but in the United States Streicker wines are available for sale in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Connecticut. For information on the availability of this and other Streicker selections wherever you may live, visit them virtually at 

href=”http://www.clairaultstreickerwines.com.au/”>www.clairaultstreickerwines.com.au/, or contact their U.S. sales representative at sharkey@margaretriverimports.com.

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