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Hahndorf Hill Winery is a new-wave, boutique producer from the Adelaide Hills, renowned for pioneering Austrian varieties such as Gruner Veltliner and Blaufrankisch. As well as cool-climate classics such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, it also produces one of Australia’s top Rosés. Hahndorf Hill’s wines have won major awards in national and international arenas. Farmed according to environmentally sustainable methods, in the belief this is the best way to produce wines of finesse and vitality. The elimination of harmful chemicals, the use of sheep to control the weed growth, and guinea fowl to eat the vineyard bugs, are all part of the process.

Six clones, handpicked at various baumes, each batch treated differently, some cool, some warm-fermented in stainless steel, 30% wild-fermented in old barriques with extended lees contact. The exceptionally complex vinification puts most winemakers of chardonnay to shame. It has electric vibrancy and drive, capturing your senses without warning. Its combination of delicacy, attention to detail and intensity is amazing. Gold medal Adelaide Wine Show '16. Drink By: 2026; Price: $28.00; Alcohol: 12%; Rating: 97 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday; Wine Companion

It’s treated in many and varied ways in both the vineyard and winery, with various clones employed and divergent picking times. It sees stainless steel, old oak, inoculation, wild fermentation, cool (ferment) temperatures and warm. You name it. No amount of fuss is too much. It’s more textural than crisp, though it still feels cleansing and/or refreshing. It feels seamless, svelte, inherently complex but not in a try-hard way. It’s flinty, peppery, savoury and then fruity. It sits in the glass and broods, at first, but then slowly unfolds. It has a rocky, quartz-like minerality. An earthen quality too. You have to slow down to appreciate it; it’s not really a wine of fireworks. But the quality is very high. Alcohol: 12.5%; Price: $28; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2017 - 2022; Rated: 94 Points; Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front

Fresh, fragrant almost musk aromas, a trace of confectionery. The palate is intense and powerful, with great intensity and length. The sweetness level is low and the wine has terrific carry. A lovely wine of good texture, charm and balance. Drink: 2017 to 2022; Price: $28.00; Alcohol: 12%; Rating: 92 Points; Huon Hooke; The Real Review

 

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