Despite a relatively long history in Margaret River, McHenry Hohnen Vintners, almost inexplicably, remains well and truly under the radar, and little known. While the likes of Cullen, Moss Wood and Leeuwin Estate are celebrated around the country, and the world, McHenry Hohnen have always preferred to let their wines do the talking, and gently. They are reserved and subtle wines rather than showy styles that jump up and say look at me. They also offer exceptional value for money.
The story started in 1981 with the planting of the Burnside Vineyard close to the town of Margaret River, with fruit originally sold to Cape Mentelle. Thereafter the Calgardup Brook Vineyard and Hazel’s Vineyard were also planted although much further south in cooler locations, the vineyard choice no doubt an important part of the house style. The vineyards are now managed biodynamically with the Hazel’s Vineyard now fully certified. Today these three vineyards also makeup a captivating trilogy of high quality Margaret River Chardonnay. Similar handsoff winemaking is pursued across the range which essentially allows these wines to tell their unique vineyard and vintage story.
McHenry Hohnen Calgardup Brook Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 $70
From a southern vineyard located close to the coast, this is the most aromatically shy of the three wines but it carries exceptional complexity with bacon fat, delicatessen and melon fruit aromas plus honeyed oak in the background. It then builds considerably on the palate thanks to juicy acidity which provides fantastic energy with a distinctive saline edge to citrus fruits plus well integrated oak before a generous, pure finish.
93 Points – Drink now to 2028
McHenry Hohnen Burnside Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 $70
Bright shimmering pale gold in colour this is an impressively powerful Margaret River Chardonnay but also at the same time highly complex. It instantly launches into nectarine and citrus aromas underpinned by a delicious array of savoury praline, spice and oatmeal barrel ferment beautifully supported by well balanced, high quality oak – it is a complete package. It’s then dry, plush and full-flavoured with a lovely creamines to the texture but also well supported by a fine acid line. Wave after wave of flavour and vanillin/caramel oak before proceeding through to a long, mouthfilling finish. Almost decadent but also refined and delicious.
95 Points – Drink 2022 – 2032
McHenry Hohnen Hazel’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 $70
Bright mid straw and a beautifully reserved expression of premium Margaret River Chardonnay. There is impressive aromatic precision and focus with fruits in the citrus and floral spectrum and nougat-scented oak. Also some flinty/smoky leesy elements add superb detail. It is then dry, taut and acid driven with palpable palate tension but also a silkiness and a chalky texture; love the balance and fruit purity as it unfurls. Finally, a picture of refinement and balance with a supremely long finish accented by doughy, citrus and floral complexity. This builds beautifully in the glass over time too which bodes very well for the future.
97 Points – 2025 – 2032