From last fortnight we conclude with some more outstanding chardonnays from the region.
One important fact to remember about Orange Chardonnay is their unbelievable longevity. The naturally occurring acidity in the cool climate region seems to give them a life that can extend beyond a decade.
With the longevity of premium chardonnays from the region also come a wonderful complexity.
Overtime, fruity characteristics are joined by more mellow but delightful tertiary flavours and aromas such as honey, nuts and sometimes a gentle spice like quality. This joint longevity and complexity is evidence Orange Chardonnay has the ability to rival grapes of homeland Burgundy, France.
Rowlee 'Single Vineyard'
James Manny and Nicole Samadol have transformed Rowlee Wines in recent years. New branding, meticulous vineyard practices and clear focus on quality has seen go from strength to strength.
Their commitment was rewarded with their 2016 Single Vineyard Chardonnay picking up the trophy for Best Wine at Orange Wine Show.
What I experienced was truly stunning, even some ten years on the wine was still bright and fresh, with more developed depth that its younger counterparts are yet to show.David Collins on De Salis' Chardonnay
James Halliday even agreed scoring the wine 97 points making it the equal highest scoring wine in the annual Australian Wine Companion form Orange ever.
Now onto their 2018 vintage, the wine exhibits stone-fruit, honeysuckle and a wonderful flint, matchstick quality. Look for this wine to be another standout success.
Only a couple of months of ago I was fortunate enough to have Charlie Svenson from De Salis put a bottle of his 2009 Chardonnay in front of me.
What I experienced was truly stunning, even some ten years on the wine was still bright and fresh, with more developed depth that its younger counterparts are yet to show.
In this midst of this was still a great fine line of acidity that was undeniably breathtaking and created the question, could this wine be aged even longer and become even better?
Gilbert by Simon Gilbert
Whilst based in Mudgee, fifth generation winemaker Simon Gilbert looks to the Orange region in order to source fruit for a number of his wines.
Now along with his extremely talented son Will, they are making some outstanding wines, showcasing the tremendous versatility of the Central Ranges.
Instead of chardonnays that were cliche 'monsters' of the Californian wine regions, Gerald looked to developing wines that were refined and a little special.David Collins touching on Gerald Naef s Patina 'Reserve'
When it comes to Chardonnay however they turn to vineyards around Mount Canobolas.
The results have yielded an embarrassment of medals and more importantly the wine that has amazingly bright acidity, length and fruit.
When GeraldNaef left the West Coast of America for regional Australia he brought with him an incredible array of winemaking skills.
Instead of chardonnays that were cliche 'monsters' of the Californian wine regions, Gerald looked to developing wines that were refined and a little special.
Over the past few vintages Patina has cleverly adapted with what the vintages have provided, whilst oak is definitely prominent on the wines they still allow the wonderful fruit characters to come shining through.
Philip Shaw 'No. 11'
In terms of the next generation of winemaking in Orange there maybe none more important than that of the Philip Shaw Winery.
The legendary winemaker has now left his label to his sons and it is Daniel who now leads the winemaking with young superstar Nadja The 'No. 11' Is a symbol of pride for the region as it represents a serious benchmark for other chardonnays to follow.
Hallmark white peach, bright acidity and a rounded mouth feel make this wine very approachable now or a cellar worthy treasure for the future.
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