Applecross 2017 Offer

The Yarra Valley arguably had the best vintage since 1992, and before that ’88. Chardonnay and pinot noir have just about every vigneron rubbing their hands with glee. JAMES HALLIDAY

Any discussion of the exalted state of Australian chardonnay today will include Dave Bicknell. Oakridge 864 chardonnays are among the best in the land as well as being at the stylistic cutting edge. HUON HOOKE

Winemaker and CEO David Bicknell has proved his worth time and again as an extremely talented winemaker. JAMES HALLIDAY

2017 WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR – Bicknell has distinguished himself especially with chardonnay, but also with pinot noir… His exploration of individual vineyard sites in the Yarra is second to none… GOURMET TRAVELLER WINE

There has been countless times in the last ten or so years where I have said Dave Bicknell “makes the best Chardonnay in Australia” or “Oakridge is this country’s top Chardonnay producer” or something equally bold and then prepared to fight my corner. If I look back over the last double handful of years and think of all the very top end Aussie Chard I have tasted Dave’s wines are the pick by weight of overall numbers. More regularly than any other producer, one or more of his wines make it in to the top picks for the year.

So, who would I suggest may be the contender for the title against Dave Bicknell at Oakridge? Probably Dave Bicknell at Applecross.

For the last little while David has been producing his own wines off a single site Yarra vineyard. Many of you likely purchased the excellent 2016 from us. The 2017 has just hit my desk and it is exactly how good I expect a Chardonnay produced from that man in a year many regard as one of the two or three greatest vintages in the region.

You may recall that the 2017 864 pulled off the coveted James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge, Australia’s most prestigious award for the variety. You may also recall that before it won everything I offered it and said it was the greatest Chard from him I had ever tasted and the rest of his 2017s were not far behind. Similarly here with his own label, the wine is absolutely superb.

Now here is something I did not expect to write, his Pinot may be better. David makes great reds and that has never been in question but I am staunch devotee of his whites, a rusted on Chardonnay fan. So when I tasted (drank) both these wines I have to say it was a little bit of a surprise that the Pinot topped the Chard for me. It’s a graceful and complete effort from the great man that leaves absolutely no question as to why he is one of our most awarded wine makers.

This is a sensational double act from Applecross and I genuinely can’t recommend them both highly enough, especially when you compare the class and quality of the juice and the hip pocket damage. I think the reviews from Ned Goodwin in the Halliday Wine Companion get the point across well