Ooh, I’ve never reviewed a wine before (amazingly, my earlier review of Radiohead’s The King of Limbs was far from my first music review – many years ago I wrote on the Launceston Examiner’s ‘Youth’ magazine, reviewing free CDs the guy with the regular review job didn’t want). So, we have a ‘Gnarly Vine’ 2008 Gippsland Chardonnay, $13.99 from Harvest. Bucking the trend for cleaner, un-oaked chardonnay, I prefer an old-school buttery chardonnay, or, in technical terms, one that has undergone malolactic fermentation. The absolute best chardonnay I have drunk was a 2006 10X Tractor – rich, creamy and full.
The ‘Gnarly Vine’ is far from the best chardonnay I’ve ever drunk, but it’s certainly a good drop. Pretty simple nose, mainly lemon and apple, leading to a very smooth, big chardonnay with plenty of apple, and also some hay and melon notes. There is, however, a distinct absence at the back of the palate which is noticeable enough that it serves as a fatal flaw – really holding the wine back. For $14 though, I can’t complain too much.