Coates Adelaide Hills Chardonnay has been an ongoing staple of the range since 2009. This wine has always been a Reserve style with 15+ months oak ageing in a high proportion of new barrels. In 2015 we decided to make two Chardonnay styles; the traditional style which is now The Reserve Chardonnay, and The Chardonnay.
The Chardonnay is a single vineyard Adelaide Hills wine that sees a shorter maturation time in barrel (11 months), and lower percentage of new oak than The Reserve. The fruit is taken in two hand picks to get a zesty note and taut acidity with the later picked grapes adding mid palate weight and depth. With two vintages in Burgundy, Duane’s winemaking is traditional French in outlook with The Chardonnay 2021 showing some leaning towards modernist Burgundy in style.
Our winemaking style is traditional with a gentle bag press of the grapes to yield the softest fruit characters. The Chardonnay was hand picked and gently pressed then the juice rested in tank to cold settle. The juice was natural yeast fermented with fine solids in new (30%) and second/third use (70%) barriques from the Dargaud & Jaegle, Saury and Nadalie cooperages then aged on lees. Malo was allowed to proceed, and the wine was matured with minimal battonage. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in February 2022. The Chardonnay is a tight, structured style and will be best from 2023 and drinking well until 2030.
Alcohol – 13.0% by volume Residual sugar – <1.0 g/L
Total Acidity – 6.5 g/L Volatile Acidity – 0.70 g/L
pH – 3.20 Free Sulphur Dioxide – 78 mg/L Total; 28 mg/L
Score 93 Wine Front (Mike Bennie)
Ye olde Adelaide Hills and a great producer with a light touch but lots of smarts.Zesty number. Flint and warm steel, slate and green apple, a good dose of lemony citrus zest and faint ginger, twiggy wood characters. Feels well seasoned but balanced too. Lots of flavour, lots of texture, vitality and freshness in the mix. Complex without being flashy. This is a really delightful chardonnay.
Score 92 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Erin Larkin)
This 2021 The Chardonnay is lighter, finer and pithier than the Reserve Chardonnay, which both come from the same vineyard, although this sees less new oak and a shorter élevage. Delicate, lacy and fine, the phenolics curl back around the fruit through the finish. Elegant. Lively.
Score 95 James Halliday Wine Companion (Ned Goodwin MW)
A fine, long-focused lens on classy domestic chardonnay. The meld of nougat lees, vanillin oak and pithy glazed stone fruits, finely tuned. Praline, quinine, orange verbena and toasted cashew, too. The finish, precise, measured and extremely long. This stands to go the distance.