Albourne Estate Chardonnay Barrel 24 2018

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This was a lovely surprise this month from Albourne Estate – I’ve long been a fan of Alison Nightingale’s wines, particularly her still wines, and this very limited Chardonnay is one of her most interesting yet.

It’s made from a single 500-litre American Oak barrel of 2018 Chardonnay, from which the wine was directly bottled by hand, unfined and unfiltered. The nose is perfumed and involving, with toasted oak, hazelnuts and dried mint, and bold caramelised peach and apricot notes too.

The palate is something else as well. Brisk, bold but subtly tempered acidity integrates nicely with a stronger focus on those peachy, dried apricot notes the nose hinted at. The oak is prominent, proud, but not overwhelming. This wine had a real nuttiness, and grip too. It’s almost got a Jura-like rawness to it – distinctive and delicious!

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