2021 Oakridge "Willowlake Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria

SKU #1672348 97 points James Halliday

Outer quote mark All P58 clone from the 1980 and 1982 plantings. Whole-bunch pressed to 500L puncheons (about 20% new). Another captivating Oakridge Chardonnay, this has scents of ripe stone fruits, a little yellow plum even and a hint of oyster shell. There's wonderful depth and intensity on the mid-palate and the wine finishes taut, saline and long. While you'll no doubt enjoy drinking this now, it’s worth giving this some time to fully come together and open up. Made with the same attention to detail as Oakridge's flagship 864 Chardonnay, this really is a bargain for a single-vineyard Yarra Valley chardonnay of this quality. Inner quote mark (8/2023)

95 points Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark The fruit for this 2021 Willowlake Chardonnay was handpicked and whole-bunch pressed directly into 500-liter French oak puncheons for wild ferment, then the wine matured for 10 months on the lees. 2021 was a long, cool growing season, and this wine shows all of the attributes the weather afforded it: precision, minerality, line and grace. The fruit sits firmly on the "white" end of the spectrum, with white peach, nectarine, apple, pear, fennel flower and brine, while the spice that swirls in and around all that is exotic and very fine. The exciting thing about great producers is their ability to weave ferment complexity, fruit and maturation until it is a seamless package—one that has the ability to stream across the palate unhindered. Winemaker Dave Bicknell has that ability, and it is on show here for all to see. This ripping little wine is a class act. Inner quote mark (11/2022)

93 points Bob Campbell

Outer quote mark Light colour with a reserved nose of cut green apple and fresh herbs, a straightforward chardonnay that is all about the fruit. Taut, dry, lean and refreshing, it finishes clean and dry with a balanced grip. Rapier-like cool-climate structure. (Huon Hooke, The Real Review) Inner quote mark (1/2023)

93 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Aromas of flint, grated nutmeg, lemon curd and a bit of blood orange. Medium-bodied with driving mineral undertones and complexity. Bright and fresh with lovely definition and clarity. Drink or hold Inner quote mark (10/2022)

Price: $24.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/27/2023 | Send Email
Oakridge's Single Vineyard wines are renowned for their stunning transparency, allowing the unique characteristics of each vintage to shine through. Among the Chardonnays produced by Oakridge in 2021, the Willowlake stood out as the undisputed star. Situated on a distinctive, 900 ft elevation site in the Upper Yarra, the Willowlake vineyard is planted on red, volcanic soils, wrapping a hilltop with a predominantly northern aspect. This unique location yields Oakridge's most robust expression of Yarra Valley Chardonnay. The aromatic profile of the Willowlake Chardonnay is incredibly striking, beginning with a foundation of stone fruit, complemented by notes of brioche and lemon. As the wine breathes in the glass, a subtle oak character emerges, revealing hints of baking spice. On the palate, a powerful surge of Meyer lemon takes center stage, accented by nuances of mandarin and saline. What makes this wine truly special is its weighted center, balanced by agile outer edges. This duality grounds the core fruit flavors while maintaining a lively dance around the palate's edges. The wine's acidity is perfectly balanced, making its presence known in the mid-palate and persisting through a long, umami-rich finish. This is classic Oakridge - a harmonious blend of power and finesse. The Willowlake Chardonnay is substantial and serious, yet simultaneously refreshing and vibrant. It stands as another testament to the exceptional value of Oakridge's Chardonnay.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/27/2023 | Send Email
Another classic from Oakridge! It's been quite sometime since I last tasted an Oakridge Chardonnay but I was instantly transported back to my first time tasting the wines a decade ago. Absolute benchmark Chardonnay from anywhere in the world, especially when you take into account value (which I think is very important in an era of spiraling price increases). The 2021 Willowlake is beautifully refined with floral orchard blossom, chipped stone, toasted barley, a balance of riper stone fruits but also zesty Buddha's hand and wet stone mineral. Vibrant and fresh with tons of energy and mouth watering persistence on the palate. These wines are consistently among the finest Chardonnays you'll find anywhere at this price point.
Top Value! Drink from 2023 to 2030

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