Devil’s Lair ‘The Ninth Chamber’ Chardonnay 2017

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This is the ultimate offering in Chardonnay from Devil’s Lair, only released in great vintages (although in Margaret River, that really does not narrow things down much). First produced from the 2009 vintage, the fruit is harvested by hand and then whole-bunch pressed into one-year-old French barriques before ten months on lees with regular stirring. The 2017 is the fifth release (not quite sure what those vintages which missed out did to transgress). 

This is a stunning Chardonnay. Pale lemon in colour with a hint of the first glimpses of sunrise. Beautifully fragrant, with knife-edge balance. There is noticeable citrus here, grapefruit and lemon, as well as nuts, spices and mango. Although there is already good complexity here, the wine does give the impression that it is still far too young to give up all its secrets just yet. Crunchy acidity, great length, excellent oak integration, this is a balanced, complex Chardonnay which reveals the glories of Margaret River. This has a decade or more ahead of it. The price? This wine competes more than favourably with what the top Premier Crus from Burgundy offer at a much lower price. There are a couple of scintillating Chardonnays from this region, which exhibit how brilliant the best can be. This is one of them.

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