Golden Ball 'la bas' chardonnay 2010 review

This is the first Golden Ball wine that I have liked.
There were at least 4 wines made from chardonnay grown at the Smith's vineyard in 2010.  It's the oldest vineyard extant in Beechworth and 2010 was a terrific vintage for chardonnay.  In my opinion it's the best of those four, and I thinks it's possibly the best wine made from the Smith's vineyard since 2002.
It has lovely raw, assertive oak and a tight, deeply flavoured fruit core (restrained white peach/stonefruit perhaps, some almond, very little fig); and of course being Beechworth chardonnay from 2010, a minerality that links the acidity, the fruit and the structure together.
Also, unlike many chardonnays of recent years, this wine has a subtle and balanced level of complexity (yeasty creaminess, solids, sulfides and wild ferment character) which adds texture to the middle palate without dominating every aspect of the wine.  Many wines have been chasing the current fashion of overtly stinky wines: in many cases it's just a fad.  This wine has, in my opinion, the right balance between fruit structure/intensity and those complex pongs.

I understand this wine is all but sold out: it's not listed at the moment on the winery's website, but give them a call to find out if they have a small amount available.   It is not cheap.


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