I’ve been hanging off promoting this Chardonnay until I tried it again, having had my first bottle in late 2015.
It’s not supposed to last. It’s got no added sulphur. It’s an orange wine, a natural wine. It’s not supposed to travel.
So, I tried it again last Wednesday in Singapore and it was fine (by me) but being on my own that week, I had to hold some over until the next evening and it was fine then too. So much for natural wine dying in the glass.
OK, so I have to make some clarification here. This wine is made in an oxidative style so to some, maybe many, it would get rejected at the first sip. It certainly is challenging if you’re not used to this style. Not everyone’s going to “get it”, so there should be no guilt in saying “pass” on this one. However, if you’re on a wine journey-of-discovery, then you should make a stopover here.
Here’s what Huon Hooke said:
“Even David Lloyd, of Eldridge Estate on the Mornington Peninsula, an outstanding wine producer with a definite scientifc learning, produced an ‘orange’ chardonnay in 2013, by fermenting it with its skins. He says it was a bit of fun, which he never intended to actually sell – until some sommeliers he showed it to demanded he sell them some for their restaurants. He labeled it Jurassic as a dig at the oxidative whites of Jura so loved of sommeliers. It’s interesting, and I could enjoy drinking a glass, but it’s not a patch on his regular chardonnays.”
Actually, David Lloyd told me that he made it because he wanted to show that natural wines don’t have to be cloudy and crap. And he’s never making another one. And the story about not intending to sell it is true. He was very reluctant to sell this wine to me, but I’m very glad he did.
Here’s David Lloyd’s most recent comment, from just last month:
“Had two customers at cellar door this week tell me that they had opened this in the last few days and it was looking excellent. I have none left to try and was worried that having no free sulphur dioxide it would go caramel and bitter but alas it has not as yet according to these customers. Please let me know how it looks if you try one. With only 3 barrels vs usual 15 in that year I was unable to have another crack”
Have a look at the two ratings in the attached promo and decide which camp you are in.
NEW ARRIVALS IN MELBOURNE
2015 Brown Magpie “Single Vineyard” Geelong Shiraz – 19 btls – $58 – Halliday 96
2016 Home Hill “Estate” Huon Valley Pinot Noir – 66 btls – $61 – not yet rated