Stella Bella Chardonnay 2017
Stella Bella is a boutique winery with vineyards around the Margaret River region. Janice McDonald and Stuart Pym took over the southern Suckfizze vineyard (then called Augusta) in 1996 and Stella Bella was born. Ever since, the winery has won numerous awards and accolades for many of their wines. They have the highest rating, five red stars, bestowed by wine writer James Halliday, signaling consistent production of quality wines. Vineyards are in Wallcliffe, Rosa Brook and Karridale (all in Central and Southern Margaret River), each with their own micro-climate and soil types. All vines are all on their own roots (and not on root stock). Practice is to use minimal chemical inputs or fertilizers in all vineyards and every block is picked and vinified separately.
Home to some of Australia’s most elegant and long-lived 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 Sauvignons and Bordeaux Blends with firm structure, mouthwatering acidity, balanced alcohol and notes of herbs and spice. For white wines, refreshing blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon as well as complex, age-worthy Chardonnays are regional specialties.
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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.