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Made exclusively for The Society by Claudio Radenti of Freycinet, this has the typical elegance of the Australian island state of Tasmania. Lemon and green-apple flavours are well balanced by subtle oak notes, with a nicely textured mouthfeel and chalky mineral flavours on the finish.
Product Code: AU23071
View all products by Freycinet Vineyard
In the 1970s, Susan and Geoff Bull bought and replanted some vineyards overlooking the stunning Freycinet Peninsula, and Freycinet Wines was born. Today the estate is run by their daughter Lindy and her husband Claudio Radenti, who between them have several years’ winemaking experience across France and New Zealand, as well as at respected Australian estates such as Tyrrell’s. Freycinet’s 15 hectares of sloping vineyards are situated just 20km from the east coast of Tasmania where the climate can produce wines that are ripe without being overblown. The vineyards are located in a sort of amphitheatre: they nestle in a valley that both protects them from the winds and acts as a heat trap when the sun shines. At around four hectares, chardonnay makes up the biggest portion of the vines.Lindy and Claudio aim for medium yields of fully ripened, healthy fruit, which means there is a lot of work to be done in the vineyards: from pruning to thinning out the leaves and positioning the shoots. The grapes are also hand picked to ensure the highest levels of quality control possible.The estate’s winery might appear rustic, but it is packed full of state-of-the-art machinery. As head winemaker, Claudio produces a formidable range including highly sought-after chardonnay and pinot noir of striking minerality. These wines are in high demand Down Under, thanks to their greater restraint and finesse than many examples from the Australian mainland. In 2005, after more than a decade of experimentation, the decision was made to convert the entire Freycinet range to screwcap closures.The Society’s Exhibition Tasmanian Chardonnay is sourced from Freycinet. It is a stylish example which demonstrates the sheer quality of this producer’s wines with its peachy fruit, impeccable balance and mouthwatering finish.
A place of beautiful landscapes, this quaint island is separated from mainland Australia by the 240km stretch of the Bass Strait, and is a wine lover's and fisherman's dream. Boasting some of the world's finest seafood, its temperate climate makes it Australia's coolest wine producing region. As would be expected, sparkling wine, riesling and chardonnay thrive in Tasmania, but pinot noir can be exceptional, with a delicacy and lift often lacking in wines from the mainland.The vineyards are in the main part clustered close to the two major urban areas, the state capital Hobart in the south and Launceston in the north, though there are no geographical demarcations within the island and no matter where the grapes come from the wine is labelled ‘Tasmania’.The west coast of Tasmania is one of the wettest parts of Australia, but the area around Hobart is one of its driest and all the commercial vineyards sit in the east. The Coal River, Huon Valley and Derwent Valley areas embrace Hobart and are warmer and drier than other vineyard zones, and the Coal River sometimes requires irrigation. Around Launceston in the north the Tamar and Piper’s River areas are cooler, though Tamar is warmer than Piper’s Brook to the extent that it is not considered ideal for pinot noir plantings. The bottom line is that it is not easy to pigeonhole the larger areas of Tasmania and one is required to zoom in to examine districts and even vineyards. The geography and climate is complex and there are bound to be even more improvement as growers, especially those new to the island, get to grips with the variety of terroirs and the wonderful possibilities they offer.
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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"This is the wine that finally brought me back to Chardonnay after a long absence. Has punch, pale colour, and versatility. It is good value and drinkable without food, and I’ve tried it with pan fried sea bass. Having seen the vineyard I will order again. "
Mr Charles Coslett (16-May-2020)
The Mail on Sunday (24th Nov 2019)
"Best with chicken and
fish pies. Creamy chicken and fish pies are all about well-judged, oaky
Chardonnay, which mimics the same glossy texture. - Olly Smith"
Yorkshire Post (23rd Nov 2019)
"Tasmania has a
definite cool climate, with breezes coming straight off the sea. This has
crunchy green apple fruit backed by hints of peach, with a chalky textured
finish. Perfect with turkey. - Christine Austin"
"Colour: Pale lemon with a silver tinge.
Aroma: Med-intensity, ripe fruits, lemon, honeysuckle, melon, pineapple, orange peel, green herbs with secondary notes of wax, smoke and buttered toast.
Taste: Med-bodied with sharp tangy acidity. The palate is quite smooth and reflects the nose ending with a sustained finish that has a very pleasant bitter tone.
Overall: No complaints about this, a very good example of oaked Chardonnay. The balance between fruit and oak is very good, nothing overpowering, everything in moderation. Good value and would highly recommend."
Mr Gabriel Higgins (20-Jan-2020)
"Not a typical Chardonnay - really soft and not the fresh, crisp hit I was expecting. Actually more like a Sauvignon Blanc.
Originally bought to try with Brie, but sat more comfortably with Emmental. Also turned out to be pretty good on it's own! Price is a bit steep - I reckon £9.50 would be more appropriate."
Mr James Sturt (02-Jan-2020)
"Recommended by a friend who had recently visited Freycinet- thought it up to some of the better NZ chardonnays+ since it had been years since I’d bought Oz chard, thought I’d try this current vintage. Everything said was correct- hadn’t fully appreciated the move to cooler Tasmanian locations by some Oz producers- well worth trying!"
Hugh McShane Esq (20-Apr-2019)
"Purchased after it caught my attention at a tasting.
Lovely tangy, rich Australian Chardonnay, reminds me of Camembert cheese. Only chill very lightly, it was nondescript dry white straight out of the fridge.
Good to know it improves after opening Ms Sutcliffe, so many white's go flat the next day."
Mr Anthony O'Halloran (06-Apr-2019)
"In light of the previous review, I felt I had to leave my review. It's bone-dry, as advised, and not overtly fruity. It has a lovely silky, smooth mouth-feel, and is a very elegant wine. And it improves after a few days after opening."
Ms Sue Sutcliffe (10-Mar-2019)
"The wine was flat with virtually no fruit , acidity or body to it- Like I had opened it a week earlier and left it. Very unusual for a screwcap.
Having had a perfectly nice bottle of the 2016 I can only assume this bottle was flawed. Surely the 2017 can't be that bad.
Mr Martyn Simmons (17-Feb-2019)
(11th Aug 2019)
"The Wine Society
offers quality wines at a fraction of the usual price, such as this Tasmanian
chardonnay. It's ideal for rich fish dishes and creamy sauces. - Fiona Beckett"
The Scotsman (3rd Aug 2019)
"Made by Claudio Radenti of Freycinet winery. Gently
oaked, crisp, elegant with a fresh steely palate. - Rose Murray Brown"
"Concentrated yet subtle, upfront fruit and well balanced complex mid palate and finish.Not over oaked. Lovely. 90/100"
Mr Andrew Swann (02-Feb-2019)
"I feel I must defend this wine after reading the review on Dec 27 2018. This has always been a very stylish example with perfect balance and also some complexity - I actually preferred it to the supposedly superior Freycinet Chardonnay which I tried from WSO a while ago.It’s closest in character to Freycinet Louis Chardonnay which I’ve tried a few times when in Australia. This is one of the best Exhibition wines offered by WSO and I haven’t found better offerings so far. At the bin end price it’s also a no brainer!"
Mr David Woodcock (24-Jan-2019)
"Unmemorable. Not a bad wine, but the Society has much better offerings "
Prof Paul Blachez (27-Dec-2018)
"It's a powerful but very well integrated chardonnay. If i was being charitable it could be a Meursault in disguise. A shame about the nose though, a sort of cheap over toasty-ness, but the palette makes up for it. Good value at this price."
Mr James Brown (06-Sep-2018)
"I really liked this wine. It showed elegance with freshness of lemon heavy fruit and a chalky back palate kick. You can tell this is a cool climate wine as nothing is too ripe. Its extremely smooth with a long finish. This was gorgeous."
Ms Leah Newman (01-May-2018)
"Lovely cool-climate fruit profile of guava, lime and pineapple. Beautifully weighted in the mouth with bright acidity on the finish. The oak tastes expensive and very well judged. There's a lot going on here for £16. Excellent value."
Mr William Davies (17-Jan-2018)
The Observer (21st Oct 2018)
"I’ve heard Tasmania
described as Australia’s answer to Sicily. But when it comes to wine, it’s a
pair of French regions – Burgundy and Champagne – to which Tasmanians feel
closest. Certainly, it’s those regions’ most important grape varieties – pinot
noir and chardonnay – that are responsible for the best of Tasmania’s
increasingly excellent wines. They thrive in the cool, ocean-influenced
climate, and retain a clarity and natural freshness that distinguishes
Tasmanian wine from the warming richness that many associate with Australia.
Those luminous and lively qualities are, together with a subtle oak toastiness,
very much to the fore in The Wine Society’s high-class own-label, which is more
than a match for most white burgundy at this price. - David Williams"
midweekwines.co.uk (2nd Aug 2018)
chardonnay producers recognise that current tastes demand less oak and more
acidity than in days of yore and (relatively cool) Tasmania – already the
country’s go-to fizz region – seems perfectly placed to meet the acidic
freshness part of those requirements.
Buyers from the Society certainly think so and [this wine] fully justifies
their enthusiasm with sharp lemon and green apple acidity to support its
under-ripe melon fruit, hazelnut and apricot richness and faint background of
(probably) barrel induced pie crust touches. - Brian Elliott"
"Tasted at a recent club tasting of Tasmanian wines. This cool climate Chardonnay stood out. Very lightly oaked, citrus flavours dominate. An excellent alternative to Chablis, this would go well with many fish dishes."
Mr Chris Sheppard (05-Aug-2017)
Decanter (4th Oct 2017)
concentrated, well-focused East Coast chardonnay. Cashew nuances, ripe, zesty
lemon, lime and rock melon with praline and cream complexity and a subtle
smokiness to the finish. - Sarah Ahmed"
The Guardian (17th Jun 2017)
[Tasmanian wine] … lush … Fiona Beckett"
Decanter (25th Jan 2017)
sophisticated cool-climate chardonnay is made by Claudio Radenti of Freycinet
for The Wine Society. It displays green apple and zesty lemon fruit on a
weighty palate, with the creamy mouthfeel underpinned by fine acidity, length
and poise. - Christelle Guibert"
The Observer (29th Jan 2017)
"… beautifully poised
The Wine Gang (1st Nov 2016)
"Claudio Radenti of
Freycinet brings all his sensitive skill to bear on this highly superior
Australian own-label from the cool climate of Tasmania: there's a really
moreish quality of fresh green apple and lemon zest in a luminous style of
chardonnay that is so clear, clean and resonant. 90/100 The Wine Gang"
The Field (21st Jan 2016)
"A clean, elegant
antithesis of old-style Oz Chardonnay. - Jonathan Ray"
The Scotsman (14th Sep 2013)
I have tasted the 2011 vintage of this wine made
by Freycinet, but TWS has sold out and moved on to 2012. The last vintage was
so crisply elegant with citric, steely palate – more elegant than many
- Rose Murray Brown
"Had this with a very classy fish pie over Christmas with sister and brother-in-law (also Wine Society members)and it was very much admired. Tasmania seems to get the balance right between richness and zing, between buttery mouth fill and green apples. As fine as many top Burgundy whites but at a very good price."
Mr Timothy P Stockil (28-Dec-2012)
"As someone who does not regularly drink Chardonnay, after several bad experiences with poor quality overtly fruity Australian examples, I was very impressed with this wine. Smooth and creamy whilst maintaining a nice crisp edge, then giving way to a lingering slightly nutty finish. Thoroughly recommended!"
Mr Oliver Coleman-Green (17-May-2010)
"I visited this vineyard before the Society began stocking their wines.
I declared then the chardonnay was the best I'd tasted.Deliciously creamy and smooth with just a hint of oak. The pinot noir too was a benchmark for Australia."
Mrs Kathleen A Brown (29-Apr-2010)
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