Oakridge Wine Local Vineyard Series Hazeldene Vineyard Chardonnay, Yarra Valley
Oakridge Local Vineyard Series comes from Yarra Valley master Dave Bicknell.
Hazeldene is a cool, Upper Yarra vineyard that ripens late giving the Chardonnay fruit more ‘hang time’ to develop. Winemaker Bicknell’s hand in the winery frames the single-vineyard terroir, showing its individuality.
Hand-picked whole-bunch pressed to French puncheons for wild ferment and 10 months on lees. The pale straw-green colour is striking; almond nuances add to the main drive of the bouquet and palate. A lively wine, oak barely worth mentioning.
95 points, Wine Companion (March 2019)
Right in the zone. Indeed fluid is the word. It strikes with grapefruit, it runs with juicy pear, it bursts through the finish with white peach and sweet cedarwood. It’s absolutely ready to drink now though of course, it will cellar if you wish.
94 points, The Wine Front (February 2019)
A complex wine with gentle sulfides and a strong lemony vein. The flavours are vibrant and intense, particularly on the mid-palate. I like the energy of the acid, fruit restraint and gentle complexity.
94 points, The Real Review (February 2019)
This is the most approachable and showy of the 2017 Oakridge chardonnays, delivering intense aromas and flavors of white peaches, nectarines and peach curd. The intensely fleshy fruit are delivered in an explosive, mouthwatering style.
93 points, jamessuckling.com (August 2018)
Light, bright yellow colour, with a pungent grapefruit aroma and a kiss of passionfruit. The wine is light-bodied, intense and crisp, with tension and acidity and electrical fire, crushed-flinty aromas and flavours. The wine is taut and refined, intense and linear, with good length and a very clean, dry, appetising finish. There's a lot of sweet fruit here.
91 points, The Real Review (March 2019)
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.