McHenry Hohnen Single Vineyard Chardonnays

Winemaker Japo Dalli Cani is as considered and detailed in his winemaking as he is in the words that he chooses to describe wines. This year we witnessed an impressive array of wines from McHenry Hohnen that spoke precisely of their vineyard sites and their varietals, carrying us off in each instance with imagination, gentle flair and utter focus. While the style of the house emphasises Margaret River regionality, the hand that shapes them exhibits a balance, finesse and distinct preference for minerality, line and form. Beautiful wines. ERIN LARKIN, Wine Companion

The 2018 vintage is without question one of the best and most classically styled vintages ever recorded in Margaret River. NICK STOCK, jamessuckling.com

The 2018 vintage was an absolute blockbuster in Margaret River. One of those ‘best in living memory’ vintages that actually lives up to the marketing hype. It saw all the big names like Leeuwin, Cullen and Moss Wood deliver some of their best releases ever.

Amisdtall the fanfare of releases this trio of single vineyard chardonnays from McHenry-Hohnen managed to escape my attention, but when I did finally get to sit down and taste these, I was blown away not just by one, but all three chardonnays in the line-up. They each provided thrill ride of epic proportion.

A little history on the estate for those not familiar. If the Hohnen name rings a bell, it’s no surprise. David Hohnen founded the seminal Cape Mentelle estate in Margaret River before going on to launch Cloudy Bay and effectively kick start the Marlborough Sauvignon boom. He is certified Australian wine royalty, with the Order of Australia medal to prove it. The other half of the equation is Murray McHenry, David Hohnen’s brother-in-law and a well-known publican and wine retailer in the west. Murray planted the Burnside Vineyard back in 1984, from which he sold fruit to Cape Mentelle, and a decade later added the Calgardup vineyard and then later Hazel’s.

When the two launched the estate in 2004 the ethos was very simple; biodynamic, sustainable viticulture and minimal intervention in the winery. The focus from day one had been to build healthy vineyards that would pay dividends in the long term and now, that investment is paying off. Pair these exceptional vineyards with the significant winemaking talents of Soave born Japo Dalli Cani and you have a crescendo of quality that has seen them recently snag a finalist spot in Halliday’s Winery of the Year.

As to the character of each of the wines I think Campbell Mattison sums those up astutely in his notes below. It’s easy to think of Margaret River as delivering chardonnays somewhat singular in style, but this trio shows a breadth rarely seen in the west. If there wines are a bellwether for the future of Margaret River chardonnay, then we are in for some exciting times ahead.