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Ocean Eight Verve Chardonnay 2011

Chardonnay from Australia
  • JH94
12.5% ABV
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12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Lifted nose showing an array of citrus with lime peel, lemon oil andgrapefruit. Some flint, matchstick coming through. and schist mineral. Fierce but balanced acid carries the wine through with great length.

Critical Acclaim

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JH 94
Australian Wine Companion
Scintillating. Chardonnay as both a drink and an experience. Dry, lemony, full of talc and chalk, (very) lean but complex. Extra time in bottle will need to add flesh but the line, length and array of flavour on offer here is impressive to say the least. Not, though, it should be noted, for those who dislike struck match/sulphur notes.
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Ocean Eight

Ocean Eight

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Ocean Eight, Australia
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Mike Aylward is a young winemaker who is wise beyond his years. Mornington Peninsula is also a young region, but Mike is determined to see if it can produce wines of the class and restrained power as those from his greatest influence – Burgundy.

Vineyard management is meticulous; yields are comparable to Grand Cru vineyards, and the winemaking is old school, unfined, unfiltered and gravity fed. The Chardonnay is pristine, bright, mineral, racy with a range of citrus and raw nuts; there is richness with tension in this wine. The Pinot is mouth filling, rustic, earthy with red cherries, rhubarb and brown spice. Ocean Eight wines have a modern new world intensity with a rustic, old world edge and complement the modern, high end cuisine that exciting chefs are championing in Australia and the USA.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute labels, though both can certainly be found here. Australia has a grand winemaking history and some of the oldest vines on the planet, along with a huge range of landscapes and climates; it is impossible to make generalizations about Australian wine. Most regions are concentrated in the south of the country with those inland experiencing warm, dry weather, and those in more coastal areas receiving humid and tropical, or maritime weather patterns. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing, and there are a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

CWMOX0111_2011 Item# 142861