Eden Road single vineyard chardonnays
There is integrity to the wines of Eden Road. Quality cool-climate fruit, attentive winemaking and true regional expression. Nick Spencer is one of a band of modern winemakers whose wines are well and truly raising the profile of NSW wine.
I recently had the pleasure of trying two mini-verticals of Eden Road’s single vineyard chardonnays: Maragle and Courabyra. Tiny quantities of each are produced.
The Maragle vineyard has one of the lowest altitudes in the Tumbarumba region. It sits at 430m, and although it is a warmer site, in a relative sense, the cooling air from the nearby Snowy Mountains chills the vineyards in the evening. These climatic conditions explain the dichotomy that exists in this wine. It has the reserve and acidity on the palate of a cool-climate chardonnay yet some riper nuances on the nose. Skilful winemaking has introduced beautiful texture and savouriness into the wine.
The Courabyra, on the other hand, is undoubtedly a cool-climate wine. With the vineyard sitting at an altitude of 740m it is a significantly tighter wine that is citrusy, high in acidity and more reserved, particularly in its youth.
Both wines are captivating, though in distinctly different ways. I enjoy the texture and savouriness of the Maragle, however, I am utterly charmed by the purity and precision of the Courabyra. Both will benefit from cellaring and decanting is recommended, whether consumed young or with some age.
Eden Road Maragle Chardonnay 2015
A youthful wine, lovely now but will benefit from time to mellow and grow. Gorgeous lemon butter aromas with fresh, delicate reserved fruit and stylish oak. There is a beautiful background mealiness on the nose and palate. Aromatically appealing with commendable texture. (AUD $40 – 93 points. 12.6%. Screwcap. 12 months in 40% new French oak.)
Eden Road Maragle Chardonnay 2014
Quite sweet-fruited on the nose with nuances of honey. The palate is very bright and energetic though still quite primary. There is a little attractive mealiness plus an elegantly proportioned palate. Decant at least an hour before serving to bring out its best. (12.6%. Screwcap. 12 months in 25% new French oak.)
Eden Road Maragle Chardonnay 2013
A thoroughly modern wine with delicious grapefruit flavours on the mid-palate and pithiness on the finish. It is lively and bright with engaging energy. Lovely now but will continue to develop with time. (13%. Screwcap. 12 months in 35% new French oak.)
Eden Road Maragle Chardonnay 2012
Primary, delicate and tight. Gorgeous subtle mealiness with high acidity and drive. Excellent sulphide complexity and a lemony-textured palate. Drinking well now. (13.4%. Screwcap. 12 months in 35% new French oak.)
Eden Road Courabyra Chardonnay 2015
This wine is holding its cards close to its chest right now but there is great potential here. Riesling-esque with its tight, high-acid palate. Intense lemon-scented aromatics. It sees no oak and is still in a primary state – it needs time to grow but is very good and has great potential. (AUD $40 – 91 points. 12%. Screwcap. 100% stainless steel for 15 months.)
Eden Road Courabyra Chardonnay 2014
Youthful with distinct savouriness plus some green melon nuances and a little sherbet. There’s some flesh on the bones plus some background oatmeal. (12%. Screwcap. 50% stainless steel/50% French oak for 12 months.)
Eden Road Courabyra Chardonnay 2013
Sweet-fruited aroma with hints of spun sugar. It is emerging from its youthful cocoon and there’s a little mealy complexity beginning to rise. Ripe lemon nuances, some grapefruit and heightened acidity. No oak. Starting to bloom – quite lovely now though still could do with a bit more cellaring time. (12.5%. Screwcap. 100% stainless steel for 18 months.)
Eden Road Courabyra Chardonnay 2012
Quite a reserved wine – it has less sweet fruit than the others. Intense lemon flavours and a delicious savoury undercurrent. The wine is beginning to open up, though the acidity is still quite high. No oak. (12.5%. Screwcap. 100% stainless steel for 18 months.)
I highly recommend putting a six-bottle case of each of the new release wines in your cellar. They deliver a true cool-climate chardonnay experience at a very affordable price. You will be rewarded watching these wines change and evolve with time and may even fool your wine-obsessed friends into thinking their origins are French.
Restaurants serving the fine single vineyard chardonnays of Eden Road include Altitude, NSW; Aubergine and Buvette, ACT; and Aria, QLD.