The most exciting new wine in Beechworth: Piano Piano single vineyard chardonnay 2010
The Piano Piano wine is not a Giaconda copy: in fact, although Marc Scalzo (winemaker and owner) knows the Giaconda wines well, there are many, many more winemakers attempting to copy the Giaconda style quite explicitly. The piano piano wine is restrained: restrained oak, very delicate yeasty (funky) complexity, and restrained in flavour. This doesn't mean it is wimpy or watery, but it is certainly elegant.
What makes this wine (and the Giaconda) typical of Beechworth granite soil chardonnay is the tight structure and the minerality of the fruit. It serves as the backbone of the wine, around which the layers of flesh, complexity and flavour can be built. As time goes by, this wine becomes more giving and fuller in the middle palate. Most of the reviews have come from a trade event in Beechworth in January 2012 when the wine was very young: it had lovely structure and class, but some bigger wines looked better at that young age. Now it has revealed another layer. Unfortunately, it is all sold out: try the newer vintages from the winery website and poke around bottle shops and wine lists for the 2010. Given that this is the first vintage, you can be assured that there will be many more to come of equal quality. I haven't tasted any shiraz from the winery's Beechworth vineyard, but I am looking forward to doing so.
Score 4/7 Value: very very good. Drinking well now and will for another 5 years (but I think in our house we have easily drunk a dozen bottles already this year)