In the mix of Margaret River, Howard Park have traditionally been at the more elegant end of the regional spectrum, with wines that have a strong variety signature as well as a cooler climate edge. Chardonnay is generally one of the standouts here, as it is in 2019.
Howard Park Flint Rock Great Southern Chardonnay 2019
This wine took a couple of days to open up suggesting it has some good ageing potential. Aromatically it displays piercing fruits – fresh citrus and honeydew melon supported by some attractive nougat and spice from French oak ferment and maturation. It is then dry, and crisp – its 13% alcohol showcasing cool climate origins as does its purity and subtlety. The wine is only mid-weight and quite compact for chardonnay but has understated fruit power that drives a lingering finish. It will be better with a couple of years in bottle but for now would match up well with a wheel of oozy Camembert.
Howard Park Margaret River Chardonnay 2019
A more classically styled Western Australian Chardonnay than the Flint Rock, showing both more oak and winemaking influence, although still in that elegant Howard Park style. It has concentrated nectarine, citrus and floral fruits plus some wild ferment, earthy complexity. The palate is then dry and generous – multiple layers of ripe fruit are lifted by flinty, smoky complexity well balanced by fine acidity. Very well made, it is wine that delivers plenty in its youth but also will improve over the next five to eight years.
MadFish Wines Gold Turtle Pinot Gris 2020
This vintage of MadFish Pinot Gris is a dangerously drinkable in a dry and crisp style. It is pale in colour with bright and gently aromatic pear, citrus and floral fruits. It is then mid-weight and generally crisp but does also have some of that typical gris textural richness leading to a dry and elegant finish. Good as a casual pre-dinner drink or match it up with whitebait fritters.