Australian Chardonnay over £10
2008 Evans & Tate Margaret River Chardonnay
What is it about winery dogs? One of our other trophy winners this year prominently features the winemaker’s dog and now it seems that Evans & Tate’s Redbrook was named after co-founder John Tate’s beloved, red-brown dachshund called Redbrook.
It was in 1974 that he and John Evans spotted the well-drained gravelly site on the northern bank of the Wilyabrup River with its Mediterranean climate and maritime location, and in the following year they planted vines.
As Decanter’s Awards have confirmed, Margaret River has become one of Australia’s best locations for superb Chardonnay. It was only last year for instance that Cullen’s Margaret Kevin John Chardonnay took the international trophy against all comers while Leeuwin Estate has become internationally recognized for its fine Chardonnay.
The fact that Evans & Tate’s Redbrook Chardonnay should take its place in such exalted company will probably come as little surprise – but great delight no doubt - to winemaker Matt Byrne. As befits the image of the Margaret River winemaker, Byrne, who has made wine in California and South Africa, spends whatever time he can, when he’s not making wine, surfing, diving and fishing in the waters of the Indian Ocean.
In 2002, Evans & Tate embarked on a five year project to better understand the complex relationship between Chardonnay flavour and site geography within the Margaret River wine region.
The diversity in fruit selection, in a region spanning 100km from north to south, allows Matt Byrne to source grapes from carefully selected sites and to focus on the desired characteristics of elegance, structure, good natural acidity and length of flavour.
Only the first juice cut is selected and there’s a mix of natural and inoculated yeast parcels, as well as fermentation in French oak and stainless steel.