2010 Holyman Chardonnay

2010 Holyman Chardonnay

Andrew Graham

14th FEBRUARY 2013 / http://www.ozwinereview.com

More Tassie Goodness.

'We are so proud of these wines we put our own name to them! All of the fruit is estate grown, which for our Chardonnay it means not a lot. The block is at the top of the vineyard, so it is the first thing I see when I walk out of the house to go to work every day.'

That's laconic Stoney Rise/Holyman winemaker Joe Holyman at his best.

His wines are much more serious though. The philosophy for this Holyman Chardonnay is actually quite simple (in theory) with the stated aim to produce a Chardonnay that balances both acidity and flavour. Interestingly, Joe uses 100% new oak for this wine, yet the oak is bigger and the wine only spends 9 months (on full solids) in said barrels. I'm intrigued to see how it all balances out, for it works nicely.

You can smell the solids through the nose actually, all gumballs and leesy funk. At first I thought that winemaking was dominating things, but as the wine got warmer the fruit stepped up, filling out the wine behind the winemaking. It's still a fine, utterly cool climate and restrained wine that is mealy and funky but so very driven by acidity. I think I'd like to see less obvious oak, but I'm nitpicking on what is a wonderfully clever, finely textured modern Chardonnay, a wine to remind you of the crystalline delicacy of modern Tassie Chardonnay whilst you finish the bottle. Or at least I did.

Drink: 2013 - 2019
94 pts | 18.5/20

Winsor Dobbin

The Examiner / 13 May 2012

Gravelly Beach winemaker Joe Holyman is a very funny man, but he's deadly serious about the quality of his wines. Wild yeast fermentation and the use of expensive French oak have ensured that this an astutely judged wine full of interest and complexity, while the fruit is still allowed to speak. This was one of the wines that most impressed British guru Jancis Robinson when she visited Tasmania earlier this year.

Jancis Robinson

16 February 2012

A small proportion of their vines are Chardonnay. Whole-bunch pressed. 26-year-old vines. Straight into new 500-litre barrels. No malolactic fermentation. Substantial and juicy. Lovely texture. Just a tad dry on the end. Came off the lees in February 2011 to be bottled.

When to drink: 2012 - 2017
17 pts - Superior

Sarah Ahmed

The Wine Detective (UK) / February 2012

Made from 26 year old vines which Holyman reckons are planted to the Penfolds clone, there’s no issue with concentration here. He says this is a fuller wine than the cooler 2009 vintage but, since he’s not one to encourage malolactic ferments, it remains trim and well focused. Attractively savoury on the nose with a lemony undertow, in the mouth it’s ripe fruited and leesily textured with spicy pears, a hint of ginger even, followed by a long, limpid, mineral finish. The oak (100% new, but puncheons/500l) is worn lightly. Lovely intensity and texture. Very good.