Oakridge has just picked up a few trophies for Chardonnay at the recent Melbourne Wine Show. David Donald very knowledgably walked me through a terrific selection of the Oakridge wines.
Oakridge has the luxury of releasing perhaps 6 different Chardonnays, from several sites, and blocks within these sites. The “864” range sits at about twice the price of the LVS (local vineyard series. All the wines are made from the same clone, no malo, and are low-oaked. This does not mean they are mean or lean.
The 2013 Willowlake Chardonnay showed neat melon-rind aspects, but the 2013 Guerin had more energy, fluffy texture and citrus drive. I was contemplating purchase until I tried the multi—trophy 2013 Barkala ridge; apart from the gunflint araomatics, it had more density, savouriness and a pebbly saline edge, while still clearly Chardonnay. Very fine and an easy buy ($36). My usual Oakridge “go-to” is Lusatia Park, but its not released yet.
Two different 2013 “864” Chardonnays, “Lusatia” block A, and ”F&D drive block” came next. I admired them side-by-side; both with defined minerals, length and citrus, I preferred the more embryonic and less funky Lusatia, but both sit in the vanguard of Australian Chardonnay, and at $75 (or less if careful) are fairly priced.
The track record of the age-worthiness of these wines (I have recently drunk 2006 and 2009 examples), and compelling ongoing wine show results are encouraging – and well-deserved. If you haven’t experienced Oakridge Chardonnay, “do yourself a favour”.
After this display of Chardonnay brilliance, any wines to follow would truly be a let-down, but the “864 Lusatia Park” Pinot Noir was a flashy floral macerated liqueur cherry style, and the 2014 Shiraz was an exhibition in wild red berry and raspberry; fine chocolates and a tow of fine tannins lurking.