2014 Oakridge Estate "Willowlake Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley

SKU #1260166 97 points James Halliday

 Hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed directly to French puncheons for wild ferment; 11 months maturation on lees. From the heart of the Upper Yarra (and its oldest vineyard), this has unequalled finesse and brightness to its fruit profile, ranging through grapefruit and white peach on the bouquet and palate alike.  (9/2015)

K&L Notes

Oakridge's wines re-define what many people think of Australian wines...they're the polar opposite of the over-ripe, over-extracted, "Fruit Bombs" as any wine can be. These wines are about balance, elegance and refinement. Winemaker David Bicknell is known as the "king of Chardonnay" in Australia, standing resolute as one of the best producers of the varietal in the country. With 25+ vintages under his belt, his crisp, flinty, mineral, Chablis inspired style has become a benchmark for a nation. All of his Chards are very focused and chiseled in form. The Willowlake Vineyard bottling is packed with crunchy orchard fruit, ripe citrus and toasty lees tones, struck flint, subtle matchstick and some baked apple pie flavors emerge in the glass; quite Meursault like with it's linear power. A very lively, dynamic wine, with fantastic purity and drive. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L Aussie Wine Buyer)

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Price: $19.99
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Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/29/2016 | Send Email
This wine is "Burgundian" but that is such a loaded and sometimes misleading term. I would rather say we have Chardonnay wines in the store, made in Burgundy, that are "Yarra Vallian". Better yet they wish they were more like this wine! Focus, purity, subtle richness, complexity and length you typically have to spend $40 or more to get a Burgundy that delivers all that wine wine does.

Staff Image By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/27/2016 | Send Email
This single block wine is oaked, with very neutral wood. This gives this cooler climate Chardonnay more texture, richness and brings out some great vanilla notes I love in his wines. The wines are balanced, vivacious, lively and not buttery...as they do not go through any malolactic fermentation. A great style of Chardonnay for all wine drinkers to experience.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/29/2016 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
Without straying too far from the classic Oakridge style we have come to know and love, this bottling from Willowlake is just a whisker more generous that some previous single vineyard expressions. While remaining at just over 13% abv, the flavors are slightly riper here, with less citric cut and a dash more roundness to the palate. Still focused, with bright acidity and wonderful drive on the palate...I think this is one of the more "crowd friendly" Oakridge Chards we have had to date and it's got the score to prove it! Insane value from our direct relationship.
Top Value!

Additional Information:



- 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, Mâcon, 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 wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley 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 and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. 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. View a list of bestselling items from Australia.


Specific Appellation:

Yarra Valley

Alcohol Content (%): 13