Early views of 2011 Beechworth Chardonnay

At this early stage, the 2011 vintage is showing its character, but the wines are very, very young.  The overall character of the chardonnay from this year is tight, slightly lean.  The flavour of the fruit is very subtle; winmaking leaves more impact on the flavour spectrum: oak, creamy yeast.  But I suspect these wines will age into really minerally, classic, restrained Beechworth chardonnays.  Perhaps they won't get the hype in the press that 2010 did, but the will make great lighter chardonnays in a few years time.  Also, perhaps the warmer sites will produce some good wines this year.

Giaconda Estate Vineyard chardonnay 2011.
Lovely oaky nose: muesli and matchstick-like,  with very delicate white peach fruit as a minor note.
Typically vintage-tight and typically Giaconda layered on the palate.  Of course, this is going to be the most complex, the most layered and the most funky of all the Beechworth chardonnays, and that is apparent at this early stage.  A creamy yeast richness adds a layer to the palate; as does the oak, the wild ferment funky smells and flavours; but this is tight and restrained compared to other years.

Piano Piano Sophie's Block chardonnay 2011.
Even more restrained on the nose than the Giaconda: subtle oak and very delicate stonefruit.
More of the tight lemon fresh vintage-character and structure with this wine.  It has less of the layered texture, but really good long flavours.  Very well balanced: a Chablis-style with reasonable level of complexity.  It is still a while away from its peak.


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