As much as it pleases me to see 'Australia's First Families of Wine' getting behind emerging regions, my attention was well and truly turned when a brand synonymous with Hilltops reds chose a Tumbarumba chardonnay as their flagship. Fortunately the 842 Chardonnay (named after the elevation of its vineyard site) has been nothing short of impressive since its 2006 debut.
An aromatic line of citrus infused white nectarines and pears ignite the nose of Barwang's 2008 842, aided by smoother suggestions of nougat, vanilla oak and leesy/nutty barrel ferment notes, which complement character, complexity and an attractive balance of sweet and savoury intrigue. The smooth and sumptuous palate is agreeably rich in a generous, creamy and fractionally forward manner, but its melon and herb fruit expression is crystal clear, light and white in the classic (if slightly plump) cool-climate mould. Buttery oak and more savoury notes of matchstick/wheatmeal emanate from its plump and juicy, clear fruit base, lingering into the aftertaste alongside a regrouping of herbal melon tones and an effortless balance of polished, squeaky clean acids, which carry and hold the wine with charming grace.
ü+ Although it would benefit from a bit more length and refinement, Barwang's 2008 842 Chardonnay is a wonderful package with enough richness and winemaker induced complexity to make an impression, yet just enough restraint of cool-climate accent to please the modernists. It's drinking beautifully right now. Drink to 2014.