Hunter Valley, New South Wales
Chardonnay is the new Black and we just love this wine from the Hunter Valley.
Harkham Winery is a new entrant in the Hunter, purchasing an established estate in 2005, upgrading the facilities and changing the winemaking philosophy.
The winery only focuses on small hillside vineyards in the Hunter Valley. They currently work with 5 local growers and pay a premium to access this top grade fruit. Azzia’s Chardonnay is from a vineyard called Leogate, planted by Murray Tyrrell no less. All the grapes are hand harvested and sorted three times before crushing. After crushing, the wine underwent fermentation using indigenous yeasts and it is not adjusted with Sulphur Dioixide or Acid in any way. The wine is then matured for 9 months in a mix of newer and older French oak before being bottled on the estate unfiltered.
Harkham is a great example of what passion and money can bring to a winery, but only if you have the brains to hire experts who know their stuff. Certainly a winery to watch in the future.
This wine is full, fleshy and supported by fresh creamy acidity on the finish. It is moreish and works wonderfully with food. Blossomy scents of golden orchard fruits mix with layers of hazelnuts and cream. It is finely ingrained with oak, but the star of this wine is the fruit and the flavor. A little funky and a bit different to the cool climate, lean and crisp style of Chardonnay.
As this wine has been made with no preservatives at all, they are bottled with a little extra dissolved Carbon Dioxide which dissipates quickly on opening, but it does add a little zing to the wine.