In this modern age of wine consumer consciousness and theoretical values, warm climate chardonnay must be an increasingly hard sell to the sophisticated drinker. Despite the proud standing of Westend's 3 Bridges label as a benchmark of what can be achieved in Australia's warm inland river regions, I can't actually see any indication of regional sourcing on the label here. 'Wine of Australia'.
Abound with powerful, nutty aromas resonating from its cashew-like oak, the 2009 3 Bridges Chardonnay is no shrinking violet, as it punches out further aromatic big tones of ultra-ripe melons and sweet nectarines smoothed out by a touch of butterscotch residing beneath. It precariously covers the bases of bold, sweet, fruity and savoury, but smells okay while doing it. Rich, creamy stonefruits roll out its relatively buxom palate, which does show a fraction more poise than the nose. Length is good and although it finishes flavoursome, it's a shade loose and fuzzy to conclude, with energetic, sweet chardonnay fruits depositing brightness and softness, if not really discipline, elegance or finesse. In context of its origins, however, it's actually very well produced and clearly over delivers, making it easy to see why the 3 Bridges label is respected as it is.
O Not a subtle chardonnay, but definitively creamy, round, bold and overtly varietal. Perhaps not my type of hot weather white though. Drink to 2013.