Rob Dolan White Label Chardonnay 2022
The vintage was down fifty per cent on yield, but it certainly makes up for quantity with quality. Whole bunch, light solids in 100% barrel ferment, 30% new French oak/70% old for nine months. Fruit concentration and power are the first impressions in the glass. Preserved lemon, glossy lemon tart with spiced pastry, dried tarragon, crushed almost-dry hay, gravelly white stone minerality and a classy use of reduction with gunflint smoking around the core of fruit. The palate is generous, even though this shape is svelte and streamlined. An arrow aimed directly, firing with long, taut precision. There’s a nice textural chew – lovely phenolics from fruit and oak – which adds interest and grounds it. Oak is strident, but this fruit can hold up to it, and with a little more time, things should pull together further into a very smart Chardonnay indeed.