Dalwhinnie MESA Chardonnay 2021


Before the first glass is broached, the first question here has to be: What is MESA? I looked it up, so you don’t have to. It’s Spanish for table. Spanish explorers of the American southwest used the word to describe the flat-topped hills they came across that looked like the tops of tables. The hills had steep sides worn down by erosion. Anyone who has visited the imposing 595m slopes of the Dalwhinnie vineyard at Moonambel will note a certain similarity. Dalwhinnie Chardonnay was – and is – the producer’s great white. A change of ownership to the Fogarty Wine Group in 2020 has seen the variety get a re-charge under chief winemaker, Julian Langworthy. The sense of power and substance remains, intertwined with a lovely elegance. It’s there from the first sniff of freshly zested lime, lemon curd, peach and cashew nut with a splash of quince paste. This is no lightweight. There are layers of fruit and oak to explore, buttery and textural in mouthfeel with a solid reserve of stone fruit at its heart. That citrussy fresh acid ping brings everything into focus. This wine gets your attention.