If there’s one thing you leave Danbury Ridge remembering, it’s the number 8: 888 bottles of this Octagon Chardonnay were produced from the Octagon Block in 2018. It’s the oldest plot on the estate, spanning 12 acres of ‘Danbury Gravel’. This well-drained, low-density site has proven to produce spellbinding wines.
If the baseline Chardonnay was perfumed, then this cranks things up tenfold. The nose is an intoxicating fusion of peach skin, Acacia honey, pear and orange peel. The oak is perhaps less at the forefront than the Chardonnay 2018, but it’s also more complex and textural, with hints of toasted spice and nutmeg.
Tasted blind, you would be hard pushed to identify this as an English Chardonnay. The palate has breadth and depth, both from the soft, peachy and vibrant tropical fruit, and the citrus cut-through. The mouthfeel is divine – that 14% ABV helps to present a fuller, more involving palate, and adds as much texture as the oak brings grippy nuttiness.
This is the most complete Chardonnay I have tasted from England – tasted blind, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a warm climate Burgundy, or perhaps even a cooler climate South African Chardonnay. To have achieved that on one of your first releases is remarkable. I have to take my hat off to Liam!