2016 Oakridge Estate "Willowlake Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley

SKU #1363630 97 points James Halliday

 From the Upper Yarra, Hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed direct to French puncheons for wild fermentation followed by 10 months maturation. The Willow Lake Vineyard is the oldest in the Upper Yarra, and one of the oldest in the entire Valley. This wine has a vibrancy, an edge, giving it a mouthfeel and set of flavours firmly anchored on grapefruit, which the Barkala Ridge doesn't have. Great success for the vintage.  (4/2018)

K&L Notes

95 points Wine Front: "Stunning Chardonnay off the Willowlake Vineyard at Gladysvale in the Yarra Valley. I shouldn’t lead with this statement because it belittles the wine in a way, but this is remarkable value. This is top level Chardonnay, styled beautifully, at a relative snip of a price. We all should make hay while we can. It’s all flint and white peach, meal and mineral, the impression both neat and wild at once. Nut, grapefruit and spice notes are nominated throughout the wine and while it generally feels slender in the mouth, it’s not wanting, and it surges impressively through the finish. A beautiful wine."

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Price: $19.99

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By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/17/2018 | Send Email
This super flinty, focussed, concentrated Chardonnay from Oakridge Estate smashes every stereotype of Australian wine. With excellent acidity, light body, but undeniably concentrated minerality, this is a perfect wine to pair with everything from oysters to grilled shrimp. The cool, refreshing style of this Willowlake Chardonnay is far from the fat wines of Barossa as Chablis is from Chateauneuf!

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/17/2018 | Send Email
The Yarra Valley continues to shine with its cool climate wines and this Chardonnay is no exception. Coming from the Upper Yarra, in the coolest part of the valley, this single-vineyard Chardonnay displays great depth, with a broad palette and an incredibly long finish. The Willowlake vineyard is one of the oldest in the area, originally planted in 1981, and the great concentration of fruit is evident of how developed those vines have become. In Napa, vines of this age would have been grafted over 3-4 times by now. There is more acidity here than I expected when first tasting this wine, which I was so excited about, because I knew this wine would be a powerhouse for years to come. It's nearly impossible to find an under $20 Chardonnay of this caliber with these high critical reviews. Don't miss this one!
Top Value!

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/17/2018 | Send Email
This one is for hip-hop fans: if Burgundy keeps on making it and California keeps on taking it, then Australia is creating it. In other words, if Burgundy is the origin, and California the sales and marketing muscle, then Australia is the present and the future in terms of what's exciting right now in Chardonnay (for fans of BDP, I will not call anyone out as "faking it," at least not in this forum..) We were all stoked on this bright, focused Chardonnay from nearly 40 year old vines, the oldest in Yarra Valley. Expressive fruit and perfectly balanced acidity are the hallmarks of this bottling from Oakridge. Recommended!

By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/9/2018 | Send Email
Oakridge is one of K&L's most rewarding direct-import properties and their 2016 Willowlake Chardonnay speaks volumes to that fact. It is simply delicious Chardonnay that will leave most sub-$20 whites in envy. Plentiful stonefruit pairs with bright citrus, a great white stone minerality, a terrific texture, and good depth. It is a light-to-medium body Chardonnay that shows depth but retains a sense of elegance at the same time. Nearly impossible to resist (especially in screwcap), it should be stocked up for anybody looking for a go to white this summer, or the next 3-6 years to follow.

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.


Specific Appellation:

Yarra Valley

Alcohol Content (%): 13