Australia's white wine scene is a hotbed of quality, and very much on the up. The country's foremost wine communicator, Huon Hooke surveys new and established wineries, large and small, to name his top estates. As published in the Decanter July 2012 issue.
Yarra Valley, Victoria
Since David Bicknell took over as chief winemaker, quality here has soared, especially in Chardonnay, of which there are around seven each vintage. Over the Shoulder is deliciously light and fresh, barely sees wood, and is among the most slurpable examples in Australia. A rung further up on the price ladder is the estate wine, combining lightness and complexity. Next is the Local Vineyard Series (formerly ‘Lieu-dit’), with the vineyard specified – eg, Lusatia Park. The 864 is the top Chardonnay, also vineyard-named. Oakridge has been a pioneer in the move to lower alcohols and the style is delicate, subtly wooded, crisp and refreshing. And don’t miss the Limited-Release Fumé, 864 Botrytis Riesling and Over the Shoulder Pinot Grigio.
Oakridge, 864 Lusatia Park Vineyard Chardonnay 2010
Oily texture; subtle, shy aromas of toast and nut, and flavours of grapefruit which build in the mouth. Delicate yet intense, subtle and refined, with a long finish. Understated and delicious.18.5pts/20
Price: £43.99 Matthew Clark