BK Wines 'Swaby' Chardonnay 2012
Chardonnay from Barossa Valley, Australia
Power without too much weight…the hallmarks of all great Chardonnay. How does this happen? Through intensity of flavors and textures while remaining balanced in all aspects. The Swaby Vineyard in the coolest pocket of the Adelaide Hills, Piccadilly, is a site that always produces powerful and deeply textured Chardonnay. It is truly up to the winemaker to ensure acidity and balance shows up at the table.
The 2012 Swaby Chardonnay is a remarkable example of the much maligned grape coming back into favor yet again. Barrel fermentation with copious amount of battonage would appear to be a recipe for 1990s California Chardonnay, but no so much here. There is plenty of brightness and clarity to a broad wine. The grapes are whole bunch pressed to 30% new French wood and naturally fermented. Battonage occurs daily over a nine month window while resting for a total of 12 months in barrel. Malolactic fermentation occurs naturally as well with 80% of the volume going fully through malo. The result must be tasted to be believed. It has its foot in the new world while paying tribute to great Chardonnay of the old.
Australian Wine Companion - "A prime example of the class of the best Adelaide Hills chardonnays; white peach, fig, melon, cashew and citrussy acidity flow in a calm stream across the tongue and onto the back-palate and finish without any break; impossible not to like this style."
Wine Spectator - "Sleek and silky, brimming with toasty, mineral-accented pear compote and savory spice flavors, lingering easily on the expressive finish. Has presence and finesse. Drink now through 2020. 350 cases made."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright yellow. Smoky, oak-spiced aromas of poached pear, honey, anise and white flowers. Shows very good depth of flavor but comes off lithe and precise, with good lift to its juicy orchard and citrus fruit flavors. Finishes tangy and long, with a hint of bitter quinine and lingering smokiness. "
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BK Wines Winery
BK Wines is a small artisan producer expressing single site and soul owned by Brendon and Kirsty Keys. Brendon is a Kiwi turned Aussie DJ, Chef and Winemaker. He sports a ginger beard and a wry smile and a lack of pretension. Brendon has worked in the US, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. The wines are made at their own winery, Altamont Premium Studio, along with contract-made wines for a number of businesses in and around the Adelaide Hills. View all BK Wines Wines
About Barossa ValleyView a map of Barossa Valley wineries
The Barossa zone consists of two sections - the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley. Wines from the Eden Valley can be labelled Barossa or Barossa Valley.
Situated just a bit east of the large city of Adelaide, Barossa is Australia's wine headquarters. Mega producers are based here, boutique wineries call it home and a majority of the habitants claim their income on the wine industry. The valley is strewn with a series of hamlets, small towns spotted throughout the region.
Barossa ValleyBarossa is red-wine territory, with red grapes consisting of about two-thirds of the region's plantings. The reds, Shiraz in particular, are lauded for their rich, concentrated flavors and aging potential. Old vines of Shiraz and Grenache are popular, many up to 80 years old. The valley is home to some of the most famous vineyards of Australia - this is where the first Penfolds Grange was made. Whites are also found, mainly from the Semillon grape – these wines are as full-bodied as the reds although harder to find. Riesling and Chardonnay are also planted.
Eden ValleyRight next to Barossa Valley, but a bit higher in elevation, Eden Valley is an ideal neighbor. Many wineries source vineyards from both areas as the climate difference in Eden Valley leads to wines of a different character. Reds are still mainly Shiraz and Grenache, but the wines are often more restrained and less dense than those in the Barossa Valley proper. Whites are popular here too. Eden Valley Rieslings and Semillons are particularly excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.