January 26th is Australia Day. While one could predictably celebrate our Commonwealth cousins by breakfasting with vegemite, knocking mates for six on the pitch, or cracking a Coopers Pale Ale, I recommend instead a toast with this stunning chardonnay – a right reminder of how ripper New Oz wines are.
BK Wines 2013 One Ball Chardonnay | Adelaide Hills, Australia | $35
Named in honour of the vineyard owner (yup), this striking, higher altitude, organically farmed chardonnay from One Ball Vineyard will cement Adelaide Hills in your mind for cool climate, concentrated and complex Aussie wines. Of course, a big part of that is Brendon Keys, founder and winemaker of BK Wines, and a leading proponent of hand-crafted, site-specific wines from this exciting region.
“Made with love, not money”, this concentrated chardy carries one year in ten percent new French and the remainder in two and three-year-old barriques/puncheons allowing the fruit to strike through the wood with a laser beam of citrus and mineral acidity. Whole bunch pressing and wild yeast (no additives) amps up the complexity, with heady orchard pear and apple, lemon, subtle meadow honey, broken stones, roasted nuts and a herbal, earthy cushion of lees to support.
With a couple of years under its belt and a nutty, brioche maturity, this wine is drinking beautifully now but will continue to mature and deepen with 5+ years.