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Tasting: Ridgemill Estate WYP Chardonnay 2018

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Been a little bit of time since I wrote a tasting note here – writing tasting notes for study purposes drain the life out of you at times, but this wine is a cracker and I couldn’t resist putting something down. Full disclaimer: the wine was provided by the winemaker.

Talk about the Australian wine landscape and I’ll wager that few, if any, will talk about Queensland. It’s a real shame, because the industry up that way is good, and can be simply amazing.

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for the Granite Belt. I studied my winemaking and viticulture degree up that way and the fact that it’s a small industry with lots of boutique players and few bigger guys was what drew me to it in the first place – this really is the home of the small estate producing predominately estate grown wines, sometimes very small batch.

But that’s what is part of its charm.

The industry up there is very reliant on tourism from Brisbane and other areas of Queensland, which is a real shame – more people need to get to know this region and its wines.

Take Ridgemill Estate – a winery producing some amazing wines – Riesling and Chardy to the front of that line, but equally important its range of reds.

I first met winemaker Peter McGlashan over a tweet or two years ago and then in person a few years back when I was up there for uni studies. A straight and honest winemaker who just produces exceptional wines; no bullshit but no compromises either. The WYP Chardonnay might be the flagship white, but at $35 it’s a pretty affordable drink.

Gorgeous pale lemon colour with a nose that instantly speaks of underripe stonefuit – white peaches and nectarines into a zip of lime citrus. There’s only the barest hint of any flint/matchstick and virtually no signal of oak – interesting and intriguing in equal measure. This is no Margaret River chard, that’s for sure.

The palate is at the lighter end of being called medium body but shows great intensity – lemon, granny smith apple, more unripe stonefruits and a hint, but only just that, of flint. Once again, little to indicate any signs of oak and the acidity is crisp and dry – I would later find out that the wine didn’t go through malolactic fermentation and this surprised me not one iota. Great finish that lingers long.

This would challenge a lot of Australian Chardonnay drinkers and, for me, that’s a good thing. Much more in common with Chablis than Margaret River here – Peter talks of taking inspiration from the Chardonnays of iconic producers Giant Steps; not a bad thing in my mind. The days of the super-oaked chard have long gone with a preference these days with restrained oak – here is a glimpse into a different future. One that I am very much looking forward to. Great stuff, need more.

Food match: New for the blog, I always do a wine match to recipes but with tasting notes I’m now going to do a simple food match – a blog post for the reasons why to come soon. For this, the answer is pork. I don’t really care what, but keep it simple – pork sirloin with a Tuscan herb burnt butter sauce would be perfect, even if I can’t cook with butter right now… I’ll still salivate at the thought…. For something left-field, pan fried scallops with a burnt butter glaze and a mint-pea puree would easily work with the crispness of the acidity in this wine. Let me know your thoughts!

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