Robert Oatley Signature Chardonnay 2016
In the fields of wine, coffee, tourism and yacht racing, the Sydney-based Oatley family has not only made their mark nationally and internationally but has also raised Australia’s profile and boosted its prosperity. In addition to the yachting business with their Wild Oats maxi-yachts and revamping the resorts and tourism on their stunningly beautiful Hamilton Island, the family started Robert Oatley Vineyards.
Founded by the late Robert Oatley AO, as a reinforcement of the family’s on-going commitment to the Australian wine industry, first started with Rosemount Estate (1969 - 2001). The family produces award-winning wines of superb quality, value, cellar-ability and immediate appeal. ‘Accessible elegance’ is always a focus for the family.
The Oatleys have overseen dynamic vineyard projects across South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia since the 1990’s. Today’s vineyard properties for Robert Oatley Vineyards shared and managed with long-term family friends and growers with a portfolio focus of Margaret River and McLaren Vale. The Robert Oatley wine portfolio commences with The Signature Series to The Finisterre to The Pennant Collection.
Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-living red and white wines, Margaret River is situated in the farthest reaches of Western Australia. Relatively warm and dry, the region is cooled by breezes from the Indian Ocean. Margaret River takes some inspiration from Bordeaux, producing top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. Complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are another regional specialty. Also common here are refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, as well as earthy, aromatic Bordeaux red blends.
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.
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.
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.