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Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from Adelaide, Australia
  • JH97
  • JS94
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • W&S90
13% ABV
  • JS94
  • JS95
  • RP90
  • WS90
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4.2 10 Ratings
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4.2 10 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aiming for elegance, restraint and the ability to age: the acid brings freshness and there’s generosity of flavor. Typically it shows white flowers, citrus, and nectarine notes. The 2015 vintage is true to style. The palate is long and flavorsome, with mid-palate texture and bright acid. A note of brioche adds complexity.

Superb alongside grilled Pacific Sea Bass with a caper butter sauce.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JH 97
Australian Wine Companion
M3 now comes from selected sites over the Adelaide Hills, not from the vineyard previously called M3. Pale straw-green; it may be autosuggestion, but this has great freshness, vibrancy and finesse, the flavours pitched halfway between white peach/stone fruit on the one hand, grapefruit/citrus on the other. Obviously fermented in French oak, but is not obviously oaky.
JS 94
James Suckling
A complex and deeply layered chardonnay with peach fruit, citrus and hazelnut. Toasty oak and nectarine too. The palate has hints of almond pastry amid nectarine and grapefruit. Concentrated and assertive, layered, and a driving finish.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
The M3 Chardonnay has evolved into a tight, refined style. It's medium-bodied and tart, with crisp acids that frame juicy citrus flavors. A subtle note of struck match marks the nose, alongside hints of orange zest.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Strikes a balance between vibrant, crisp pineapple and lemon flavors and a warm, toasty cedar note. Harmonious and intense on the finish.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
A pale, earthy Chardonnay, this is zipped up behind its flinty reduction, needing time in a decanter to show its juicy lemon and lemongrass notes.
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Shaw & Smith

Shaw & Smith

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Shaw & Smith, Adelaide, Australia
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Shaw + Smith began over a long lunch in 1989 when cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith decided to realize a long held dream to make wine together. They specialise in Sauvignon Blanc, a single vineyard Chardonnay, cool climate Shiraz and more recently small batches of Riesling and Pinot Noir. Our vision is to make exciting, refined wines exclusively from the Adelaide Hills that rank amongst Australia's best.

Shaw and Smith believe that sound environmental practices make sense. Our practical approach aims to respect the soil, cut water use, recycle, and cut energy and greenhouse emissions.

Adelaide

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The Adelaide Zone refers to the super zone in South Australia containing the Mount Lofty Ranges Zone (Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains and Clare Valley), Fleurieu Zone (Currency Creek, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, and Southern Fleurieu) and Barossa Zone (Barossa Valley and Eden Valley).

The Adelaide Hills region is distinguished and beautiful, offering a cool respite in the summer for Adelaide city dwellers. With vineyards planted fairly high in elevation at 1,500 to 1,800 feet, it is known for its particularly fine, citrus-driven Sauvignon blanc.

However, Piccadilly Valley, the part of Adelaide Hills closest to the city, was first staked out by a grower named Brian Croser, in the 1970s for a cool spot to grow Chardonnay, then uncommon in Australia. Today a good amount of the Chardonnay goes to winemakers outsdie of the region for blends and not many wineries were ever permitted to build wineries here, since it is essentially an eastern suburb of the city.

Producers experiment with other cool-climate loving aromatic varieties like Pinot gris, Viognier and Riesling. Charming sparkling wine is also possible, which is made from Pinot noir and Chardonnay. On its north side, lower, west-facing slopes make full-bodied Shiraz.

The Adelaide Plains is a hot region northwest of the Adelaide Hills that produces simpler, value-driven wines.

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.

RPT20068397_2015 Item# 352388