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Robert Oatley Pennant Margaret River Chardonnay 2019

White Wine from Australia - Western Australia
The second of Robert Oatley’s Wine Champion chardonnays following our annual blind tasting. Only five barrels of the 2019 Pennant were produced – an appropriately precious quantity for this multi-layered Margaret River yardstick. It treads a line between rich beeswax and butter from its oak and ripe stone fruit, culminating in a very long finish. Truly impressive.
Price: £37.00 Bottle
Price: £222.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: AU23651

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • Dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 12.5% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2030
  • 75cl
  • Screwcap

Western Australia

The isolated state of Western Australia is known for its spectacular scenery, golden-sand beaches and giant Karri tree forests. A relatively cool (in Australian terms) Mediterranean climate of warm, breezy summer days and cool nights dominates the wine-producing areas. The resulting wines tend to combine fruit ripeness with freshness – an unusual combination in Australia – which makes the wines particularly appealing.

The Margaret River area was the first to suggest Western Australia’s potential for making premium wines. Elegant, ageworthy cabernet sauvignon originally put the spotlight on Margaret River and is still its trump card. Chardonnay shines here, too, as do the vibrantly fruity, zesty semillon/sauvignon blanc blends.

Further south and west you find the Great Southern sub-region, 400 kilometres from Perth. The vineyards of the Great Southern region provide 37% of all the grapes produced in Western Australia. The five sub-regions – Albany, Denmark, Frankland River,...
The isolated state of Western Australia is known for its spectacular scenery, golden-sand beaches and giant Karri tree forests. A relatively cool (in Australian terms) Mediterranean climate of warm, breezy summer days and cool nights dominates the wine-producing areas. The resulting wines tend to combine fruit ripeness with freshness – an unusual combination in Australia – which makes the wines particularly appealing.

The Margaret River area was the first to suggest Western Australia’s potential for making premium wines. Elegant, ageworthy cabernet sauvignon originally put the spotlight on Margaret River and is still its trump card. Chardonnay shines here, too, as do the vibrantly fruity, zesty semillon/sauvignon blanc blends.

Further south and west you find the Great Southern sub-region, 400 kilometres from Perth. The vineyards of the Great Southern region provide 37% of all the grapes produced in Western Australia. The five sub-regions – Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and the Porongorups – all have vastly different climatic conditions, but generally Great Southern is the coolest of all of Western Australia. The long growing season, relatively low rainfall, poor soils and low yields result in high-quality wines with excellent fruit intensity. The best wines of the region are riesling (dry, almost austere, with superb definition and purity) and shiraz, though sauvignon blanc is now attracting attention too.

Further north, and closer to Perth, the Swan Valley was the first area of Western Australia to be commercially planted and despite some fierce summer temperatures can make crisp, fresh whites and full-bodied reds.
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Robert Oatley Vineyards

Entrepreneur Robert Oatley, who passed away in 2016, was no stranger to building an iconic Australian wine business, having been the founding father of the famous Rosemount Estate in the Hunter Valley. In the 1950s and 1960s he made his fortune in coffee and cocoa, and built up a portfolio of businesses ranging from cattle ranches to vineyards, not to mention a love of racing yachts that saw him underwrite Australia’s bid for glory in the 2016 America’s Cup race!

In 2002 he sold Rosemount and decided to step away from the wine business. It hardly took him a year before he was involved once more when he established Robert Oatley Vineyards with properties around Australia.

The business is based at Mudgee in New South Wales but includes projects in Western Australia, McLaren Vale and Yarra Valley. Overseeing this group is acclaimed winemaker Larry Cherubino, heading a hand-picked team of viticulturists and winemakers, all of whom have been provided with state-of-the-art equipment by Robert Oatley. The emphasis for such a wide-ranging enterprise is very much hands-on and sustainable, with intervention kept to a minimum. The emphasis here is on quality and varietal expression.

Australia Vintage 2019

It’s hard to give a blanket picture of how Australia has done in any particular vintage as, frankly, it’s huge! Regional variation notwithstanding, 2019 generally looks good in most regions after an excellent 2018. Drought, though, continued to be a problem, and rising temperatures in places such as McLaren Vale mean that alcohol levels are only going in one direction.

However, I would urge members not to base their view of the entirety of Australia on what is going on in Barossa or McLaren Vale. 2019 in Margaret River produced some excellent wines and this continues to be a world-class region for elegant, silky and delicious cabernet-based wines. Tasmania, Yarra and Mornington Peninsula have also shone in the 2019 vintage and demonstrate how fantastic Australia is for cooler-climate winemaking. Thanks to Margaret River and Mornington Peninsula’s sea influence (therefore keeping temperatures cooler) and the microclimates of Yarra Valley and Tasmania, these regions are set to...
It’s hard to give a blanket picture of how Australia has done in any particular vintage as, frankly, it’s huge! Regional variation notwithstanding, 2019 generally looks good in most regions after an excellent 2018. Drought, though, continued to be a problem, and rising temperatures in places such as McLaren Vale mean that alcohol levels are only going in one direction.

However, I would urge members not to base their view of the entirety of Australia on what is going on in Barossa or McLaren Vale. 2019 in Margaret River produced some excellent wines and this continues to be a world-class region for elegant, silky and delicious cabernet-based wines. Tasmania, Yarra and Mornington Peninsula have also shone in the 2019 vintage and demonstrate how fantastic Australia is for cooler-climate winemaking. Thanks to Margaret River and Mornington Peninsula’s sea influence (therefore keeping temperatures cooler) and the microclimates of Yarra Valley and Tasmania, these regions are set to become increasingly important and worth following.
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2019 vintage reviews
2018 vintage reviews

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