Wolf Blass Grey Label Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2019
The 2021 Wolf Blass Luxury Collection launched this month contains a lone white wine, a chardonnay that hails from the Adelaide Hills. Once upon a time that esteemed place in the Blass empire might have been taken by a riesling. These days, it’s chardonnay that sells, especially when it’s from the Adelaide Hills.
What you get for $30 is a world of flavour. There’s a lot happening here which is actually very Wolf Blass when you think about it. Subtle is not a character generally associated with the man or the brand.
Fruit from a number of sub-regions was fermented in French oak, underwent a full fermentation and then saw eight months maturation in predominantly new French oak, so imagine aromas far from shy and a rich mouthfeel. Stone fruits light up the bouquet, nectarine and peach especially, with grapefruit and an arresting almond nuttiness. The centrepiece for me is the textural mouthfeel to this wine, it fills the senses, and sends me straight to the table taking a glass with me as an excellent accompaniment to a meal. It’s a wine that was made to go with food. Oak plays a part here – the drinker wouldn’t expect anything less, it’s a Wolf Blass trademark – but the fruit quality and intensity is up for the ride. They marry nicely indeed.
The 2019 vintage in the Hills started off with poor fruit set due to cold, wet conditions and so lower yields were the result. The rest of the season was warm. Considering what followed in 2020 with horrendous bushfires across the area, this vintage and this wine is to be celebrated.