Clandestine Chardonnay is one special wine. Instantly you get peach, melon, pure, lifted, quince, caramel, coconut, and just a hint of VA. Clandestine has depth and richness and elements of Chablis-like mineral. It’s really good, and I haven’t even tasted it yet. The palate of Clandestine delivers spice, oyster shell, unctuous weight, and a long, zesty, creamy, finish.
It is not surprising to me that the Clandestine Chardonnay is this good the embargoed winemaker is outstanding at their craft. The fruit is 100% Wilyabrup, 100% barrel fermented and everything that is great about Margaret River Chardonnay. Just without the huge price tag.
Drink the Clandestine Chardonnay now. I’d happily pair it with crayfish tails or seared scallops.
Clandestine Margaret River Chardonnay 2020 Wine Review
“One sniff of the glass and it is obvious we have a very fine Margaret River Chardy on our hands. It is crafted from a vineyard in the Wilyabrup region, planted in 1990, and also planted with the famous gin gin clone, which is behind most of the best Margaret River Chardonnay. Free run juice, 11 months in French oak, 25% new and the rest a mix of first and second use. No lees stirring and no malolactic with a total of only 2,640 bottles.
Good intensity here and lovely oak. At this early stage, there might be a smidge more oak than some would like (others will be delighted). Either way, there is the fruit to match and early complexity coming through. That lovely melon, citrus and stonefruit that is a hallmark of the clone is on show here, as is the concentration and power it provides. Seamless with really good length; even better in 6 to 12 months and should then drink beautifully for many more. Drink: 2020 – 2028” Winepilot.com
Nick and Trudy Stacy source fruit from exceptional vineyards. Some are almost impossible to access, but for their years of industry experience. Having sourced the fruit, they hand it over to an equally deft winemaker. Sadly, both vineyard and winemaker are often embargoed. However, the proof of Clandestine is in the tasting.
Three hours south of Perth is this land of Cabernet and Chardonnay. Right on the ocean, the climate allows the grapes to mature slowly on the vine. The wines are more powerful in the North and more elegant in the south. The best wines are world-class and are priced to reflect this.
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 special 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.