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RICK ALLEN, MANLY DAILY, September 25 2015

Toolangi's chardonnays are invariably good, fruit-driven drinking... sophisticated without trying too hard. This is just what you get here. Enticingly aromatic like most top Yarra Valley chardonnays, the palate has tightly woven flavours of stone fruit, fig and citrus, with oak in a deft supporting role. Even though you roll it around in the mouth and savour it, the bottle will be empty all to quickly.


Garry and Julie Hounsell planted Toolangi vineyard at Dixon's Creek, Yarra Valley, in 1995. They hand the fruit over to various winemakers including, for chardonnay, David Bicknell of Oakridge and Willy Lunn of Yering Station. Bicknell makes the higher priced "Estate" chardonnay ($38), while Lunn makes this classy drop, which is also estate grown. It shows the juicy nectarine-like varietal flavour of Yarra chardonnay bubbling through the textures and flavours derived from fermentation and maturation in oak barrels. Taut acidity pulls all the flavours together into one enjoyable whole.


I like what Toolangi do. Grow quality grapes and engage excellent local winemakers to craft the product and proudly declare it on the label. Less “contract wine making,” more “Duets II with Tony Bennett.”  This peachy little number made at Yering Station. 11 Months in French Oak. Fresh fruit front with pineapple core (but not too sweet), followed by smooth cashew cream and vanilla richness over ripe peach stone fruit. That palate is rich and almost creamy on the first taste too. Comforting, like a cosy, warm woolen jumper on a cool spring evening. Just as you think it’ll fall away all flabby, crunchy pear-like crispness bites before layers of nutty corn, figs and peach topped with tart lemon butter and sprinkle of sandalwood spice. Leans into the full spectrum, but maintains equilibrium.


I know it’s a big statement, but this has to be one of the best value Chardonnay’s I’ve tasted this year. Toolangi are a consistently good producer from the Yarra Valley who have their wines crafted by some of the best winemakers in the country. The wine is a straw yellow in the glass, the nose gives peach and savoury nectarine skins against winemaker derived richness of brioche and a touch of wood smoke. This wine has everything in proportion, the nervy acidity gives vibrancy and the springboard from which flinty oak and textured stone fruits give fullness and complexity. The finish has both depth and balance. Drinking superbly now, and will reward medium term cellaring.


Bring me more! please! This Chardonnay just presses all the right buttons for me from start to finish. The purity, elegance and pristine-ness of the aromas are just spot on. Tight slowly unwinding and aromas eventually enveloping the glass, they come through shining and present all the classic peach melon cashew oak and light figs you would expect regionally to the fore. 

The highlight is the quality and style of this Yarra Valley Chardonnay fruit, classy tight and showcased well then crafted nicely by the winemaker taking it to the next level. Not overdone not overworked, fruit/ acidity and oak in sync and check and working very well for what still is a youngster of a white wine. It has 5-7 years on it easily, the development should demonstrate a well roundedness emerging and a nuttiness developing nicely with time. 

At around $28 it is fairly priced for such an excellent wine. It drinks superbly, my only complaint being there just doesn't seem to enough in the bottle! Try this with oven baked barramundi fillets and a lemon butter. Nice wine, well done Toolangi.




Single Vineyard fruit, selectively hand-harvested and low cropped (2.5 to 3 tonnes per acre), from our Dixons Creek vineyard.


Aged in French oak barriques and puncheons for 11 months.

MADE AT: Yering Station
QUANTITY: 950 Dozen
ALCOHOL: 13.5%
CLOSURE: Screwcap  



WARNING Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 it is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years. The penalty exceeds $8,000. It is an offence for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor. The penalty exceeds $700. Licence No. 36094104
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