2011 Oakridge 864 Single Block Selection "Drive Block: Funder and Diamond Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley

SKU #1124436 95 points James Halliday

 Like all 864 chardonnays, whole bunch pressed direct to barrel for natural (wild yeast) fermentation, 30% of the oak new. The riper fruit aromas come through strongly on the bouquet and nectarine, white peach and melon flavours, grapefruit conspicuous by its absence. Two very different wines.  (3/ 2012)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Oakridge 864 Single Block Release Funders Drive Chardonnay has a wonderfully yeasty / toasty nose with aromas of apricots, spiced apple pie and cashews over nuances of meal and preserved ginger. Light to medium-bodied, the palate offers mouth-filling stone fruit and bready flavors with crisp acid and a gentle silkiness to the texture going into a long, pleasantly nutty finish. Drinking beautifully now, it should cellar to 2017+. (93+, LPB)  (6/ 2012)

K&L Notes

Oakridge was awarded "Winery of the Year" in 2012 off the strength of it's legendary Chards. Winemaker David Bicknell is the KING of Chard in Australia. The 864 wines are only released in the best years, Oakridge's Single Block line showcase their finest single vineyard or estate wines. They are to be treated and indeed judged against the best of what Burgundy can offer and I believe they truly measure up! Winery notes: "Funder & Diamond vineyard, Drive Block. North facing at 230 meters above sea level. Close planted in the red volcanic soil of Wandin East in 1985 using the P58 clone. All grapes were hand harvested and sorted prior to whole bunch pressing directly to French oak puncheons for natural fermentation. 30% new oak. Post-fermentation, the wine was sulphured in-situ to prevent malolactic conversion from occurring, and to preserve the naturally high acidity. The wine was aged on its fermentation lees with minimal sulphur for 10 months prior to blending and bottling after a single filtration. Pale straw with bright green hues. Complex from the outset. Burnt match, pink grapefruit, lime leaf and ginger lily's vie for attention. Light on its feet and angular rather than broad and deep. Lime leaf, grapefruit, flint and minerals followed by brioche and lemongrass sitting over a crystalline citrus acidity. This is complex and tremendously long and will morph and move in the glass as it evolves."

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Price: $26.99

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By: David Driscoll |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 1/30/2014  | Send Email
If you had to blow $50 on a bottle of Chardonnay, you could do a lot worse than this--mainly because most California Chardonnays of this quality would cost you $100 rather than $50. The Drive Block has toast and a bit of popcorn on the palate, but it's completely balanced by a flinty minerality and vibrant acidity that prevent it from being too oaky or flabby. This is what I wish CA Chardonnay tasted like. I guess I'll just have to keep having it shipped up from thousands of miles below the equator however.

By: Keith Wollenberg |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/24/2013  | Send Email
This is hte top of the impressive Oakridge line of Chardonnays. It is made in a very Burgundian style and could use some time in the cellar to reach its pinnacle. The winery stopped the fermentation with sulphur to block the malo-lactic fermentatoin and preserve acidity. Just a trace of that sulphur still shows, boding very well for a long life in your cellar.

By: Ryan Woodhouse |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/20/2013  | Send Email
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A very worthy slightly leaner single block selection. Matchstick wood, oak spices, ginger snap, quince and lime blossom. Crisp acidity drawing out the palate into a linear force. Spectacular wine that I imagine will age for a decade plus.
Drink from 2013 to 2023

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, M‚con, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great Region are in the southeastern area of the continent, with the Barossa Valley, Claire Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Yarra Yarra Velley and Pyrenees in Victoria and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling from the land Down Under. While many equate Aussie wines with "value", there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from Australia.


Specific Appellation:

Yarra Valley

Alcohol Content (%): 13.4