2014 Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay
HuonHooke.com - September 2015
Light, youthful, restrained colour and a lovely fresh, clean, precise aroma of fruit, with early-picked stone fruit and pome fruit (pear) to the fore. Oak is invisible. But there is underlying nutty, nougat-like complexity. The palate is very delicate, long and stylish. A very smart wine, which promises to unfold more with time.
Score: 95 points
James Halliday - The Weekend Australian Magazine - 22-23 August 2015
Largely ex the Lenswood vineyard, handpicked, chilled overnight; whole bunch pressed, wild yeast fermented in new and used French barriques; nine months maturation. A seamless fusion of white peach, biscuity oak and fresh acidity. Drink now to 2023.
Score: 95 points
Dave Brookes - Adelaide Review - 1 September 2015
The 2012 acquisition of a beautifully situated Lenswood vineyard of some pedigree was a fine move by the team at Shaw + Smith. That vineyard now makes up a large proportion of the fruit sourced for this particular wine. There has been a trend, mostly for the good, of paring back Chardonnay in this country; let's face it, those blousy, blown-out numbers from the 1990s were going nowhere. Some producers push it too far, the result: skeletal Chardonnays, all acid and sulphide and not much else. Others get it bang on. Shaw + Smith is one of those producers and their M3 Chardonnay continues to go from strength to strength. Detail, grace and precision. That's my three-word tasting note for this wine, though, of course, we'll expand on that a little for the sake of completeness. Nectarine, white peach, green apple and some pithy grapefruit are the dominant fruit characters here as well as lighter hints of roasted cashew, along with wafts of almond meal, subtle vanillin oak, nougat, stone and oatmeal. Elegant in the mouth, as only cool climate Chardonnay can be, the 2014 model shows fantastic fruit purity, texture and drive across the palate; beautifully weighted and taut showing great focus. Finishing with a sheen of porcelain-like acidity and a flourish of stone-fruit and meal, she's a beauty.
Mike Bennie - Wine Front - 25 June 2015
A low yielding year. “Chardonnay and shiraz were the standout varieties for the season”, says winemaker Adam Wadewitz. The Lenswood vineyard purchased in 2012 is now becoming a more significant component in the wine, “It adds a fineness”, quips Wadewitz, “it brings natural acidity, a back bone, a spine to the wine”. The hand picked fruit comes from a couple of different sites, gets whole bunch pressed and sent to barrel, left on lees for a spell, bottled with a bit of sulphur when it’s ready. “We’re trying to do less really, looking to show off the potential of chardonnay from the Hills”, says Wadewitz.
It tastes like crunchy skinned chardonnay grapes from a cool place. True to the variety, not afraid to be edgy, but also show some finesse of oak handling and a quiet concentration of flavour. Bouquet shows faint nuttiness with green apple, quince, citrus. Fresh fruit flavours are trimmed with fine chalky fringes and gentle nougat and cedar touches. Long in flavour, fine, well done chardonnay. Will cellar well too I suspect.
Score: 94 points