Reviews of Wild Child Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

2016 Wild Child Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

James Halliday Wine Companion 2018 - 92 Silver

Rating: 92/100; Drink By: 2022; Price: $25.00; Date tasted: 16 Jan 2018; Alcohol: 13.5%

Hand-picked and sorted, one-third fermented in used French oak with mlf two-thirds in tank without malolactic fermentation, matured for 10 months.

Takes a minute or two to gain traction, but once it does so, it doesn't back off. Pink grapefruit and white peach are backed by tangy, slipper acidity, oak running across that acidity. It all works well.

100 cases made

2014 Wild Child Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

James Halliday's wine tasting note

Rating: 93; Drink By: 2021; Price: $25.00; Date tasted: 16 February 2015; Alcohol: 12.5%

Whole bunch-pressed, wild yeast-fermented on solids, 50% in used barriques, 50% in stainless steel, lees contact for 6 months, no mlf.

This early picked chardonnay exhibits complexity and a bright finish.

100 dozen made

Philip White - InDaily

93++ points

While the line between the Adelaide Hills and the eastern ridges of McLaren Vale makes little crisp logical sense the further east one goes, this fruit’s from Hahndorf, which is quite obviously in the Adelaide sector.

Dangle your nose into this glass, however, and you’d think you’re in the French bit, which is quite a way further off. The wine has that comforting grilled cashew, prosciutto and canteloupe bouquet that you’ll find in many junior whites from the Côtes of Burgundy.

It’s a lovely smell, and one which I have never seen in such extent in any Chardonnay from the Vales proper. It’s simply not cool enough there. But this is cool in many ways: its wild yeast and lees stirring has rendered a texture slender yet creamy; the finish has little phenolic tannin; the wine has a lovely sensual demeanour and weight.

It’s not a big Chardonnay, but an elegant, cheeky, lightly-oaked lovely made with a deal more sensitivity to the purpose than is shown in too many posh, presumptuous, and/or overpriced Hills models. Or Burgundies, for that matter.

If Burgundy stretches your credulity, let’s just say that this seems more like the Chardonnay from the eastern or western shores of Port Phillip Bay; maybe the slopes of Mt Macedon, but it’s even cheaper than most of those.

Have it with flathead pan-grilled in butter with a sprig of fennel and spread on a lightly-toasted slice of sourdough with a squirt of lemon and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Happy days!

Alcohol: 12.5%
Closure: Screw cap
Price: $25

2013 Wild Child Adelaide Hills Chardonnay

Philip White - Drinkster / INDAILY NEWS

92+ points

The aroma and some of the flavours of cinder toffee, called honeycomb by Australians, is a character which Chardonnay can get when it's not trying to come from Chablis. Along with butterscotch and estery dried banana whiffs, this adds a more relaxed tone to this otherwise stony Hills angel. That fine balance of austerity and flesh reminds me of some of the radical Chardonnays Adam Wynn produced at Mountadam 20 years back. Sandstone quarry whiffs, with that twist of cordite, even hemp phosphate sacks at the sharp end; squishy, peachy dessert aromas in the stern.

But the whole effect is not like dessert at all because of that sharpness, with its wild yeast and a sliver of oak that brings fresh sliced lemon and ginger root to mind. Don't be confused. It's a real good drink, just more complex and challenging than most of the skinny cheapskate Chablis copies of Oz. As my blogging colleague Jeremy Pringle at Wine Will Eat Itself recently pointed out: Chablis is actually in, er, France. This one came from Basket Range and was made at the Smith Cru's Cradle of Hills winery on the slope below Sellicks in McLaren Vale. They picked 1.5 tonnes of grapes to make 1200 bottles. It'd make a fine mess with sautéed chicken à la niçoise, or something even more chook stewie. Like the butter chicken curry at Aldinga Bay Café. Chill it sharpish, then decant it for the best ride.

Alcohol: 13%
Closure: Screw cap
Price: $25

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