Shadowfax Chardonnay joins Pinot Noir on ’19 vintage
When conversation turns to the thrilling frontier for cool-climate Australian wine-growing, Macedon Ranges should be on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
This Victorian region strides forth. Sub-regionality is a real thing here, with scattered plots showing intense personality. And the number of great wines grown here is increasing all the time.
With Al Timms at the helm, Shadowfax is no longer simply “one to watch”. Take your eye of this estate for a second, and you’ll miss a new high watermark. Take Gary Walsh’s response to the 2019 Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir: “You’re having it large here, at a very fair price.” And that’s the other thing – these wines are immensely affordable, given their pedigree.
Rolling onto the 2019 vintage alongside its line-priced sibling is the Macedon Ranges Chardonnay. “$34. Australia, I love you,” wrote Campbell Mattinson of the previous rendition. Chardonnay is what we do best.”
The floral bouquet is appropriately exotic with rose petal, lychee, powder puff and ginger-accented spices, the palate reinforcing the message. Good wine.93 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2021
Hand-picked, whole-bunch pressed, wild-fermented in used French oak, matured for 9 months on lees. A very complex gris, both bouquet and palate unfolding citrus and almonds, multi-spices, moving into a world of honeysuckle, poached pear and fig in the mouth.95 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2021
This distinctive Chardonnay bursts from the glass with white florals, grapefruit skin and nectarine fruit notes. Hints of lees derived cream add complexity, while a flick of mineral river stone lifts the fragrance. Palate Lemon tart and grapefruit spill immediately onto the palate. Fruit flavours are augmented with wild ferment characters such as choux pastry and barrel spice complexity. The wine walks a tightrope, with sherbet acidity and lime pith falling off the side. A great example of cold-climate Macedon Ranges Chardonnay. – Al Timms, Shadowfax
Fruit. Composure. Length. It’s all here. It sits pretty, peach-driven and poised. Grilled/toasted aspects, a lick of oak spice, a line of citrus, perhaps melon. Quartz. Class written all over it. Will be better in another year or three.94+ points. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front November 2019
Dark cherry, baking spice, toasted hazelnut, a flicker of mint and rose. It’s mid-weight, flavoursome, a subtle cranberry juiciness, lovely shale-y sort of tannin, maybe boysenberry, quiet succulence, and a fine long finish. You’re having it large here, at a very fair price.94 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
What a delight. The whole shootin’ match. The dark cherry flavour. The sliding graphite tannin. The cool ‘mineral’ acidity. The length. It’s floral, seasoned with spice and dried herb, offers bass and treble, clean lines, and makes you want to drink it with a feverish haste, which is a rare admission for this little piggy. It’s a beauty.96 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front June 2020
Hand-picked fruit carefully sorted and destemmed so 100% whole berries in small open fermenters, wild fermentation with daily plunging, 14 days on skins, pressed to used French hogsheads. A beautifully detailed and harmonious palate with spice, rose petal and cedar run through to a stunningly long finish and aftertaste.96 points. James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2021