The Henty region in Victoria is just about the most “southern” viticultural area of mainland Australia and perhaps unsurprisingly, is producing some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that our sunburnt country has to offer.
And if you’re a Chardy freak like me, you’ll be pleased to hear that the outstanding 2011 Jaluka Chardonnay is not only on the shelves, but is visiting the Seppelt display at the Noosa Food and Wine Festival on 16 and 17 May.
Sourced entirely from Seppelt’s vineyards in the Henty District, the Jaluka is a delicate and understated style that will appeal to connoisseurs and tipplers alike. It’s a pale colour with a greenish edge in the glass which tends to create an expectation of juvenile liveliness, but the meringue and lemon zest characters that reveal themselves on the nose are perhaps more subdued on the front palate than you’d expect for a wine with such a youthful appearance.
But as the wine develops across the palate, characters of citrus blossom and loquat open up and deliver a cascade of ripe lime and Granny Smith apple flavours corralled by hazelnut oakiness on the finish. The beauty of the cool climate influence is the crisp minerality that balances the wine’s natural creamy texture and allows a lingering cleanliness to prevail until the next sip is taken. And with wines of this quality, my next sip is never far away – especially when the Jaluka retails at only around $25 a bottle.
Our wine reviewer, Travis Schultz, is a practice group leader of Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers, part of the Slater and Gordon group, and lover of fine food and wine