Wine Review: Flametree Strikes a Match with Wallcliffe Chardonnay

Flametree winemaker Cliff Royale is a bit of a gun and like me he loves a good acronym; in this case S.R.S. stands for Sub Regional Series and after 15 years making wine in Margaret River, he has a pretty good handle on what works there.

flametree-margaret-river-chardonnay-adelaide-reviewWhile Margaret River doesn’t have any officially designated sub–regions, many producers have adopted the proposal of renowned viticulturist John Gladstone, whose 1999 research paper suggested six sub–zones within the region, based on climate and soil differences.

This particular wine hails from the cool Wallcliffe area to the south of Margaret River township.

It’s a tight, driven and struck–match style of Chardonnay yet there is ample flesh on its bones to support that sulphide complexity. Too often, Chardonnay lacks some stuffing and ends up looking a little callow and skeletal. No such problem here.

Pale straw in the glass with tightly bound stone and citrus fruits on display. Notes of sulphide add complexity alongside hints of oatmeal, marzipan, sea spray, clotted cream and cashew oak.

Grapefruit, nectarine and lemon mimic the nose. There’s a pithiness to its texture, a tightness and latent power to its line and it fades slowly with notes of citrus, oatmeal, spice and grilled nuts.

FLAMETREE 2015 S.R.S. Wallcliffe Chardonnay Margaret River

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