Howard Park Granite Ridge Great Southern Chardonnay 2020

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The Burch family loves its geology. It is always particular about acknowledging the bit of dirt where the Howard Park wines are sourced. Granite Ridge could not be any clearer about the vineyard site. “Forty kilometres from the coast, our Great Southern vineyard was once an offshore granite island,” notes the back label. Granite is good for Chardonnay. It brings a natural, effortless structure to the wine and, often, a touch of mineral ‘tang’ or mouthfeel. This is very much in evidence here. Structure is everything in this wine; it’s tight, firm in acidity and ripe in citrus, grilled grapefruit, straw and spice. Smoky oak makes an appearance on the palate. It’s not shy, but the wine is ultimately better for it as it joins with leesy almond meal and brioche to create a more complex and interesting whole.

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