2012 Balnaves Chardonnay

Huon Hooke
Variety Chardonnay
WINERY Balnaves
RRP 28

This winery is a family affair with Pete Balnaves running the vineyards and Kirsty the marketing, while their father, Doug, is the founder. Only the winemaker is a ring-in: Peter Bissell, who tells us on the back label what yeasts he used to ferment the juice! The colour is light yellow, the bouquet a complex amalgam of roasted hazelnut, honey and cashew, with some creamy yeast lees notes. These are joined by stone-fruit flavours and hints of nougat on the palate. It's rich and multi-layered, with freshness, harmony and vitality. An outstanding chardonnay. 13 per cent alcohol. 

Aging: Now to 2020.
Food: Chicken satay.