I sat with current Bannockburn winemaker Matt Holmes at tasted 4 vintages of their Chardonnay: 2018 (SRH), 2008 (extended lees), 1998 (donated fruit), 1988 (Estate). If the 1988 tells me anything, it is that this 2020 will reach its peak in about 2045. There is a lot to love about the Bannockburn style for immediate drinking: ripe and full on the nose. Stonefruits, matchstick, hints of oak and grilled nuts. There are some funky and lees notes too. It is full but structured enough to keep everything clean and fresh.
The stunning Bannockburn site just gives longevity to the wines that are without peer in Australia. You can definitely drink it from now but if you can, keep some for 10, 20 and 30 years. This needs only a simple grilled fish dish and your attention.
Bannockburn Geelong Chardonnay 2020, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
Bannockburn was established in 1974 and from almost day one turning out quality wines. With Gary Farr as winemaker, this rising star became an Australian icon. Subsequent winemakers have built on the legend of Bannockburn. Expanded vineyard holdings and added to the range and depth of quality.
Bannockburn Geelong Chardonnay 2020 Wine Review
The Wine Front
“Straw-coloured but then fresh and pear-like on the palate. Interesting wine, quite distinctive, with flashes of quartz and sweet cedar matched to gun smoke and lemon curd. It has both length and intensity on its side, along with complexity, but perhaps not harmony. It’s not close to ready; it needs time.”
Within the GI of Geelong, there is some distinctly different climates, diverse soil profiles and strong personalities. And it helps that quite a few producers are making interesting and exciting wines here. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz all excel, but in the right site, there are plenty of other varieties that can do well.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to, and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring, as can malolactic fermentation.
The invasion of “Sunshine in a bottle” put Australian wine on the map. The fruity, easy-going, somewhat samey wines were endearing for a short time. Then the next big thing knocked them off their perch.
This forced producers to increase quality and emphasise the distinctive terroirs of Australia. Of which, there are many. And many more yet to be discovered.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
It is interesting to know that you can make white wine from almost any grape. The colour comes from the skins, and if there is no contact, there is no colour. White wines tend to be delicate, perfumed, higher in acid and lower in alcohol. It seems for this and many other reasons, it is hard to make an incredibly impressive white wine. But those that have mastered the art are indeed some of the best winemakers in the world.
It is a falsehood to think that white wine does not age as well as red wine. But it is correct that white wine, as a rule, doesn’t age for as long.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.