2011 Oakridge 864 Single Block Selection "Drive Block: Funder and Diamond Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley (Elsewhere $65+)
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.
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)
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."