2021 Giant Steps Wombat Creek Vineyard Chardonnay
Not only is Wombat Creek the vineyard with the highest elevation in the collection (100 meters up the hill from Applejack, circa 400 meters elevation), it is also the most southerly. Planted to the I10V1 clone, this is an interesting (understatement) pigeon pair to the Applejack, in that it boasts the same clone and the same winemaking yet is a higher, cooler site on red dirt instead of gray clay. Fruit for the 2021 Wombat Creek Vineyard Chardonnay was picked a full 10 days after Applejack, "and it was just a matter of waiting until the fruit was ready," says Steve Flamsteed (a.k.a. Flamo). "We had no rain events or botrytis stress at all." Approximately half of the wine went through malolactic fermentation. "By the time we got around to picking it, some of the malic acid had respired," Flamo explains. And it goes a long way toward softening the wine, lending it a nutty, savory character. Pork crackling comes to mind, and in combination with the white orchard fruit and taut saline acidity, it gives the wine an extra dimension of complexity and interest. I think this wine needs some time to unfurl and evolve—I'd love to see it again in a year's time... Drink 2022 - 2035
Erin Larkin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (June 2022)
Vines here are nearly 40 years old. It’s the highest, coolest and most southerly of the single vineyard chardonnay sites.
Great push of musk, fennel and red apple flavour before toasted peach and vanilla characters power through. Incredibly intricate wine, perfumed, powerful, long, textural/grippy, gently creamy, and then when you think it’s finished, a peppery/herbal spray to the aftertaste. You can see the oak on this but it absolutely carries it; of all the 2021 releases it’s the one most in need of extra time for the sake of pure oak integration. But we have another super wine on our hands here. Drink 2024 - 2030+
Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front (June 2022)
Green and luscious nose with more breadth than the Applejack Chardonnay 2021. Definitely softer than the Applejack, even though the vineyard is higher – a soil effect? Floral notes. It would be easy to drink this without food. Quite long. Absolutely ready with an undertow of sweet lime. Really very fine and appealing. Great balance. Drink 2022 – 2027.
17 / 20 Points
JancisRobinson.com (May 2022)