Richard Riddiford’s tribute wine is called ‘The Great Riddler’ and sits with the super-premium ‘The Great Dogs’ series of wines. ‘The Riddler’ is one of Richards’ nicknames, this originating from the incorrect spelling of his surname in a media article. Richard’s favourite wine was Chardonnay, so ‘The Great Riddler’ is a Chardonnay made from fruit from the original ‘Om Santi’ Palliser Estate vineyard, from his last vintage, 2016. The wine is a selection by winemakers Allan Johnson, Guy McMaster, Pip Goodwin and consultant Olly Masters, of the two best barrels, thus making it a true limited edition wine with a production of 500 bottles. It will only be available from the cellar door. Here are my notes on the wine tasted over lunch.
Bright, full, light golden-yellow colour. The bouquet is full and voluminous, quite expansive, and packed with intense, beautifully ripened yellow stonefruit aromas along with citrus fruits, tropical fruits and complexing mealy notes, harmoniously melded with creamy barrel-ferment and soft nutty-spicy oak notes. The aromatics are dense and full, and unfold layers of interest and richness. Medium-full bodied, the palate has masses of packed flavours of ripe yellow stonefruits, tropical fruit and citrus fruit interwoven with mealy complexity. The palate has immense presence, but is seamlessly smooth in its mouthfilling nature, combining a near unctuous richness with plush, luxurious, creamy barrel-ferment textures, and soft, integrated, lacy acidity which contributes to the roundness. This is sensational and multi-dimensional and complex in flavour, yet the balance is striking resulting in wonderful, perfect integration. The flavours and rich mouthfeel flow seamlessly to a sustained, nuanced finish. A stupendously rich and complex Chardonnay of great presence and multi-dimensional facets. Serve with creamy seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 5-6 years. Clone 15 fruit from the ‘Om Santi’ vineyard, vines planted in 2005, fully barrel-fermented with light solids by indigenous yeasts to 12.9% alc., the wine aged 18 months in new Damy wood comprising 20% of the oak, with 80% in second fill Mercurey 228 L barrels, undergoing some batonnage and 100% MLF. 500 bottles made. 20.0/20 Jul 2018 RRP $85.00 Cellar Door only