Our Black Label Chardonnay is only made in exceptional vintages, utilising the best fruit of the vintage to create an elegant wine that is fine-boned, subtle and restrained. It is made to be delicate and pretty, held by a persistent spine of acid in its youth. Whilst approachable young, it should slowly unravel with time to reveal even greater depth and complexity.
2017 was an exceptional vintage for Chardonnay in Orange. A relatively cool year, it produced wines with great delicacy and elegance.
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On the nose of the 2017 there’s an intense interplay between citrus blossom, creamed honey, toast and savouriness – all in equal measure. It is married with tight grain French oak.
The palate gives more of the same all dancing around the central spine of acidity. Some nougat, some flint, oatmeal and texture and you have a symphony in your mouth. Seamless and refreshing.
Fruit averaged from 1000m above sea level.
3 x separate picks in March 2017.
Clones I10V1 & I10V5.
All handpicked into 10kg picking baskets.
Fruit chilled overnight then whole bunch pressed.
Racked to barrel with full solids.
Wild yeast ferment in 225L barriques (33% new French oak)
A lower pressings component than the 2017 Chardonnay.
Full natural malolactic fermentation.
Lees stirred fortnightly for 3 months then monthly after.
12 months maturation.
Racked & blended March 2018.
Settled in tank for a 2nd Winter.
Bottled September 2018
“It’s a mystery but despite it chemistry the acidity here is slightly, but tangibly, softened. The wine will go whatever distance you care to name and will always have finesse, delicacy and balance”
95 points – James Halliday
“His 2017 Rikard Wines Black Label Chardonnay is a wine that proves the region can make chardonnay that fights not only against longer established Australian areas, but also on the international front. It is young and yet to reveal its best. Orange’s answer to Meursault.”
This shows the classic, reductive charm of the iconic wines of Meursault – clean and pristine. More grapefruit than lemon or lime, the faintest tease of caramel from new oak influence adds charm. It is still just a baby. While already complex, this is packing far more under the hood than its current shape suggests. Brilliant.
96 Points – Nick Butler. The Real Review
“An impressive chardonnay showing characteristics of stone fruit, citrus and white flowers. The oak folds seamlessly into the long, textural palate”.