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Trophy - Best Chardonnay ~ Hunter Valley Wine Show 2014 
Trophy - Best 2yo+ Chardonnay ~ Hunter Valley Wine Show 2014 
Gold Medal ~ Hunter Valley Wine Show 2014 
Gold Medal ~ NSW Wine Awards 2013 
Gold Medal ~ Hunter Valley Wine Show 2013 
Gold Medal ~ Cowra Wine Show 2013 

Tyrrell's led Australia's charge into chardonnay decades ago, albeit misnamed "pinot chardonnay" for many years on its Vat 47 label. In theory the Hunter ought to be too warm to make cutting-edge chardonnay. But Tyrrell's top version, Belford and Vat 47, easily stand alongside more expensive wines from cooler southern regions. Belford 2012 lifts even higher in quality than usual, offering quite powerful chardonnay fruit flavour on a fine, richly-textured palate, subtly seasoned by partial fermentation and maturation in French oak barrels. The wine bears two trophies, four gold, two silver and two bronze medals. Rating: 97 Points; Chris Shanahan; Fairfax Wine Media

There is a world of difference between Tyrrell's commercial chardonnays and its Single Vineyard or icon chardonnays. This has awesome drive and intensity to its mix of grapefruit and white stone fruit flavours, barrel ferment oak not at all bolshie. The only caveat is to drink it over the next 3-5 years. Drink by: 2019; Price: $38.00; Alcohol: 13%; Rating: 95 Points; James Halliday Wine Companion

Chardonnay has been through some tough times in the last few decades, once the darling of the social set, now it's all sauvignon blanc darling. Oh, unless they are ahead of the curve and already onto the pinot grigio. Now there's the ABC crowd, (anything but chardonnay) but there's the also IALC crowd (I've always loved chardonnay) crowd, I have to say I'm in the second crowd. In any case, chardonnay is a noble grape, capable of incredible diversity of style, complexity and better still it's an excellent medium for expressing the soil and climate from whence it came. Cool climates seem to work best but there are some anomalies in the equation. The best makers in the Hunter Valley make the point well. This week's single vineyard chardonnay from the Belford vineyard, made by Tyrrells is a great example. It's from a warm climate but it looks cool, lovely crunchy acidity, fresh lemon and melon fruit and some fairly inconspicuous oak make for a bright fresh style that will rival the finest cool climate chardonnays in the country. Like the best Hunter chardonnays, it should age gracefully as well. Fergus McGhie; Fairfax Wine Media

For two years I have observed the swag of wine show gold trophies and gold medals collected by this Hunter Valley white. Now it has been released and come to my tasting bench -and my taste tests prove it’s been worth waiting for. It’s brassy gold in the glass and has pear and vanilla bean aromas. Profound yellow nectarine flavour comes through on the front palate and melon, preserved lemon and mineral fruit characters integrate with cashew oak on the mid palate. Slaty acid unfolds at the finish. It’s made family and leased and managed by Tyrrell’s. 5 Glasses out of 5; John Lewis, Newcastle Herald


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