In addition to being one of the key wineries behind Geelong's modern day renaissance, Bannockburn was also among the first names associated with truly great Australian pinot noir. However, some of Bannockburn's recent outings have polarised critics and consumers alike, a concern which might have lead to the declassification of Bannockburn Chardonnay from Langton's 2010 classification. Personally, some of my own experiences with Bannockburn wines over the last few years have enforced the benefits of screwcap closures...
From first sniff Bannockburn's 2008 Chardonnay continues the run of fine form set by the label. Tight and funky, like an ambidextrous drummer playing Funkadelic, its classically refined nose expresses both sweet and savoury suggestions through a fragrance of ripe nectarines, green melons and creamy cedar oak, with cheesy/leesy tones and a touch of wheat adding further complexity to an intriguing scent. Medium-full in weight, equal parts rich and viscous; its palate does a stellar job of pushing through a persistent flow of bright fruit meshed with savoury/leesy influences, coating the mouth from front to back with soft nectarine, vanilla and yeast flavours heightened by a dash of nutmeg. An attractive acid balance completes the package; it's beautifully offsetting, bright and penetrative, but the key feature is the way it just cruises alongside its rich core of flavour, creating a wonderful synergy of opulence and discipline to draw out a long, lingering finish.
ü+ Like others, I haven't been terribly enthused by some recent Bannockburn pinot noirs, but I have absolutely no qualms with their 2008 Chardonnay whatsoever. A fine combination of richness and tightness, savoury and fruity; it's my kind of chardonnay. Great stuff. Drink to 2015.