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2011 Robert Oatley Vineyards, Finisterre Mudgee Chardonnay
Scores and Reviews
James Halliday in his Australian Wine Companion (2013 Edition) elevated Robert Oatley Vineyards winery to the highest possible Red Five Star rating, In his words: "Outstanding winery regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity."
The octagenerian Robert Oatley, yachtsman, Hamilton Island owner, businessman and founder of Rosemount Estate, is one of the most celebrated personalities in the Australian wine industry. He started his wine career in the 1960s and he quickly established a reputation as an innovative entrepreneurial wine man, creating the Rosemount Estate brand that developed an impressive pedigree.
He sold the estate in 2002, but returned to wine in 2006 by setting up his own range drawn from a variety of sources and with several labels under his umbrella, which include Wild Oats, Montrose, Tic Tok, Craigmoor and the new Robert Oatley Signature Series wines.
The Robert Oatley Signature Series encompasses an impressive portfolio of vineyards nurtured by the winemaking talent of Larry Cherubino and showcasing Australia's most successful wine styles and regions. Bob Oatley's philosophy is that all wines should be a "darned good drink"; these are indeed highly digestible wines of elegance, without undue influence of oak, representative of their origin and with a relatively restrained degree of alcohol. The flagship Signature Series delivers immediate appeal, with satisfying flavours over an elegant frame.
Each wine embodies the grape varietal and region in which it was grown, from aromatic Western Australian Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir from Mornington, luscious McLaren Vale Shiraz, and classic Margaret River Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.
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