Oakdene Blue Label Brut is a blend of Geelong Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The first pour delivers a surprisingly lovely pinky/copper tinge to the wine. It smells of raspberries and slightly oxidised red apples. Hints of dough, smoke, oyster shell. and rose petals. The palate is dry, creamy with the fizz, showing more red fruits, refreshing acidity and a jelly-like finish. This is a classy drink and at this price it over-delivers. Oakdene Blue Label Brut would look even better if served with natural oysters. Drink now because it is perfection where it is.
Established in 2001, Oakdene‘s vineyard is located in Wallington (near Ocean Grove) on the Bellarine Peninsula, approximately 20kms east of Geelong. The region enjoys a cool, maritime climate moderating the weather patterns, resulting in a long cool growing season; producing low yields of high-quality fruit. These are some stand out wines from a region where quality can be elusive.
Within the GI of Geelong, there is some distinctly different climates, diverse soil profiles and strong personalities. And it helps that there are quite a few producers 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.
This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one-trick pony, it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.
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.