Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2021
Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2021

Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2021

Sale price$495.00
Beechworth, Victoria, Australia

Style: White Wine

Variety: Chardonnay

Closure: Screwcap

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Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2021

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, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

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Producer: Giaconda

Country: Australia

Region: Beechworth

Vintage: 2021

Critic Score: 100

Alcohol: 13.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2038


What a phenomenal wine. A Great Wine by any standard globally. I'm proud to give it a score of 100 points - Erin Larkin

James Suckling Top 100 Wines of Australia 2023

Giaconda, founded in 1982 by Rick Kinzbrunner, is one of the country’s great wine producers. The star of the show is the chardonnay, one of Australia’s greatest chardonnays, one of Australia's great wine treasures and Australia’s first real Grand Cru white wine.

"Extraordinary wine. This is a brilliant Giaconda Chardonnay with superb density, fruit complexity, flow and mineral length. Australian Grand Cru. Absolute genius."  Andrew Caillard MW

"Golden lime green in colour. An intensely focused bouquet of jasmine flower, white nectarines and grapefruit, galangal and a waft of peaty, toasty oak making its presence in a discrete manner. As it opens, flint and matchstick add another layer to this incredible aromatic show. Multi-layered white fruits power the palate, while spice notes compliment the tingling impact of minerality on the finish. Rapier sharp in its attack and precision; piercing long, clean and steely. The depth of palate and textural roundness is considerable. The finish is tensile, savoury and immensely satisfying."  Giaconda

Expert reviews

"The 2021 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay wine expresses equally of Chardonnay and of Beechworth; its reduction and oak are delectable hallmarks (and, as I discovered recently, are intense even by Burgundian standards), and the intertwined drive of fruit and acid in this cool vintage are hitherto unmatched by previous vintages. This is a Great Wine by any standard globally. I am proud to give it a perfectly rounded score of 100 points.

It follows on directly from the 2019, as no 2020 vintage was made due to bushfires. The winemaking remains consistent with previous vintages: hand-picked, lightly crushed, then basket pressed, fermented wild in oak in the gravity-flow cellar, matured for 18+ months in French oak (30% new), with 100% malolactic fermentation. The 2021 is backward and flinty at this stage, with a staggering flow of flavor across the palate. It has penetrating characters of saffron, yellow peach, preserved citrus, red apple skins, brine, crushed shells and Indian root spice. I acknowledge that I have a blind spot for high-quality oak. It is present here, but it is seamlessly integrated into and matched by the potency of the fruit presence. This is an unbelievable wine that will only grow in stature over the coming years. As for comparison to previous vintages? The best until now was the 2018, but the 2021 is tighter, more focused and even, if you can believe it, longer. My heart (and money) is here, by a whisker. What a phenomenal wine. Drink: 2023-2038."  Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate - 100 points

"Medium pale colour. Intense flinty, lemon glace, grapefruit, nectarine, beeswax, wetstone hint matchstick aromas. Beautifully seductive wine with gorgeous ripe nectarine, lemon glace, grapefruit flavours, expressive flinty, waxy notes, fine loose knit al dente textures, superb creamy viscosity, underlying marzipan, vanilla notes and wonderfully integrated acidity. Extraordinary wine. This is a brilliant Giaconda Chardonnay with superb density, fruit complexity, flow and mineral length. Australian Grand Cru. Absolute genius. Date: Apr 2023; Drink: Now–2032."  Andrew Caillard MW, The Vintage Journal - 100 points

"Bright, light-medium yellow colour with explosive aromas of struck flint, smoked charcuterie, roasted hazelnuts, grapefruit and much more, the palate majestically opulent with extraordinary depth of fruit flavour and fruit-sweetness on the mid-palate that persists long after the wine has gone. The strongly reductive style is typical of this winery, and may polarise, but there's no doubting it's an opulent, voluminous wine that crams a seemingly impossible amount of flavour into a mouthful. Extraordinary palate length and drive. Drink: 2023–2037."  Huon Hooke, The Real Review - 99 points

"The wonder that is chardonnay is laid out beautifully, masterfully, intelligently and artfully here. In a good year, intensity deepens, flavours soar. Lifted aromas of orange blossom, peach, nectarine, grapefruit flesh, oatmeal and grilled nuts with a hint of matchstick. It's plush, luxuriant and textural to taste, brightened by juicy, filigree-fine, insistent acidity. Both vibrantly youthful and complex. The vinous adjectives flow. Beautiful. Drink by 2037."  Jeni Port, Halliday Wine Companion - 98 points and Special Value Wine  ★ 

"A glossy chardonnay that plays the reductive hand of match-struck flintiness on the nose. Delving deeper, white grape, fig, green plum, cantaloupe and peach. Distinctly mid-weighted, but more tightly furled than in the past, there is ample tension as much as intensity. I appreciate the chewy seams, too, imparting an additional element of complexity to the structural lattice of mineral pungency and granitic freshness. A tad green, to be critical, but an excellent wine in all. Drinkable now, but best from 2025."  Ned Goodwin MW, JamesSuckling.com - 97 points and Top 100 Wines of Australia 2023 

"I’d say this is the best Giaconda Chardonnay I’ve tasted, which says something in itself. I like that although it’s a powerful wine, all the elements are in lockstep, and in that way it’s kind of less overt in personality, which is a good thing. Nectarine, preserved lemon and lime rind, plenty of ginger and spice, white flowers, smoky bacon, struck match. It offers a juicy burst of stonefruit and grapefruit, spice and pepper, a layer of toasty clove oak, brine and complementary sulphide complexity, plenty of flinty texture through a gentle creamy cashew gloss, with a cool and tight zesty finish of impeccable length. It’s elemental as at now, for sure, but the flow and harmony is second to none. So very impressive."  Gary Walsh, The Wine Front - 97+ points

Awards

James Suckling Top 100 Wines of Australia 2023
Special Value Wine – Halliday Wine Companion  
★ 

About the winery

Giaconda winery"Giaconda vineyard was established by Rick Kinzbrunner, a mechanical engineer who became interested in wine in the early 1970's. Rick then spent the next ten years working in the industry, travelling and following his passion for wine. After a brief stint in New Zealand, he studied at Davis University in California and worked at some of the most respected wineries in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys (namely Stag's Leap, Simi and Matanzas Creek). In Europe he worked for the Moueix group in Bordeaux, co-owner of the fabled Chateau Petrus.

After returning to Australia in 1980 to take up a position as assistant winemaker at Brown Brothers in Milawa, Rick purchased land in the nearby Beechworth wine region - at the foothills of the beautiful North-East Victorian Alps. Planting commenced in 1982 and the property is now devoted solely to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. A separate planting of Nebbiolo has also been established close to the Beechworth township at Red Hill. Total area under vines at the Giaconda Estate Vineyard is now 4 hectares. Annual wine production is approximately 2,500 dozen bottles.

The Vineyards

Our Estate vineyard is managed sustainability and carefully according to environmental consciousness. Since 2018 we are now fully certified organic by the Bio Dynamic Research Institute (BDRI). The Australian Demeter Bio-Dynamic Method is a world leader in practices of ecological and sustainable farming.

At an altitude of 400+ metres (1,312 feet) the site and climate are influenced by the surrounding alpine valleys. The Chardonnay is planted on a relatively cool south-facing slope which is sheltered from the direct impact of the sun's rays. This results in a much slower ripening period, greater flavour complexity and natural acid levels. The Estate lies in a small valley which benefits from a light breeze much of the time; this is very effective in controlling disease.

Our Estate Vineyard Shiraz is planted on the amphitheatre block at the top of the property with a warm north-facing exposure. Warner Vineyard Shiraz is grown on a slightly higher elevation, 6.5km from the Beechworth township on ancient granite soils typical of the general area. These vines are also planted on a warm north-facing exposure.

The soil is 450 million year old granitic loam over decomposed gravel and clay. The clay is important in allowing sustained water-release to the vine roots; while the soil, being not too rich, is ideal for wine quality - lower yields are naturally regulated. The vines are drip irrigated in hotter years only when it is necessary to prevent vine stress.

The average rainfall is 800 mm annually, a little of which can be received during summer. Nights are generally cool with days being fairly warm, providing ideal conditions for slow ripening. Vintage begins in late February or early March, depending on the season. All grapes are hand-picked in the cool of the early morning before being processing at the winery on site. Cropping levels are approximately 2.5 tonnes per acre.

The Wine Making

Wine making should be subtle and always seek balance - this should never seek to dominate the Terroir or characteristics of any given vintage. Giaconda wines are hand-crafted according to basically a natural wine making process. To us this means indigenous yeasts are employed for fermentation, natural bacteria for Malolactic fermentation, French oak barrel ageing, minimal sulphur additions, and no filtration before bottling.

The winery, barrel maturation cave and bottling facility are all set up for gravity flow. This means the wines are very rarely pumped or manipulated mechanically. Instead they are gently moved by gravity or gas pressure during the entire wine making process.

In the case of Chardonnay, our fruit is hand picked, lightly crushed and then basket pressed - before being transferred to French oak barrels (approximately 30% new) for fermentation and ageing.

For the red wines, a combination of whole bunch and de-stemmed crushed fruit is transferred to large concrete tanks for fermentation. These wines remain on skins for an extended period to develop softer, finer tannins and more complexity; before being basket pressed and transferred to French oak barrels (up to 40% new in some cases) for ageing.

Our wines are aged in French oak for almost two years - deep underground in the granite maturation cave, which can be seen below. This cave offers optimal conditions for fermentation and ageing with a stable temperature of 16 degrees centigrade and naturally high humidity all year round."  Giaconda

Wine region map of Victoria

Victoria

Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.