Monday, December 27, 2010


- Geelong, VIC
- $50-$60
- Cork
- 13.5%alc

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.
94 points


  1. Well, that's good news. I really liked the 07 too. I haven't any of their PNs for a few years, but pity if they're not so good lately, as they were a favourite.


  2. Admittedly Sean, the last two Bannockburn pinot noirs I bought were from 2004 and 2005, but they were so far below my expectations I haven't returned to the label since, even with the winemaker changeover.

    Given the quality of this chardonnay and the 07 you mentioned, it might be coming up to time for me to give the pinot another chance.... :)

    Chris P

  3. Could've been that you had some bad bottles, particuarly the '04 which took out the SIPNOT tasting a few years ago and mistaken for a great red burgundy on the day by none other than Len Evans. Should definitely give the newer pinots though, '08 pinot, and '08 stuart pinot are stunning

  4. Thanks Anon.

    You're right, I had bad bottles of both wines. Fortunately my retailer was happy to replace them on both occasions, but their replacements didn't exactly fill me with joy either :(

    Still, I'm always happy to purchase wine based on a reader's recommendation, and going off the quality of Bannockburn's Chardonnay, 2008 might not be a bad place to return to Bannockburn Pinot Noir.

    My eyes are peeled. :)

    Chris P

  5. Looking at the 2008 Stuart now Anon, so I hope you're right ;)