The Wine Front 97Review Score 96Halliday 96
Beechworth

2022 Savaterre Chardonnay

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The Collective Review

“The best Chardonnay I have ever made…”

Those are the words of Savaterre winemaker Keppel Smith regarding his latest (and now sold-out) 2022 Chardonnay.

For a winemaker known for delivering vintage after vintage of what many consider one of Australia’s greatest white wines, it’s a significant statement. Profound, even.

But that is what we have with this 2022 release. Alongside fellow Beechworth acolyte Giaconda, Savaterre holds a special place in the hearts of collectors. This ‘thrilling’ Chardonnay of ‘power and finesse’ has been dubbed a ‘benchmark’ wine by Gary Walsh at The Wine Front, who scored it 97 points (making it his highest-rated Australian Chardonnay ever).

The Savaterre style is reminiscent of great Batard Montrachet, with a hint of the struck-match and flintiness of Coche-Dury. It’s bold, lively, and expressive, featuring notes of grilled nuts, crème fraîche, ginger nut biscuits, nougatine, lemon drop, grilled bethonga pineapple, and quince. This wine offers a pulsating array of sights, smells, and sounds that evolve as it opens up.

The winery allocation has sold out. The local distributor has sold out. Finding more than a bottle or two anywhere is proving impossible. Yet at The Wine Collective, through our deep connections, we’ve managed to secure a final run of this extraordinary release.

What makes this wine so special? And why is the 2022 vintage a high-water mark? We’ll let Keppel explain:

“All the Savaterre wines from 2022 come from the best vintage of my life! It was a stunning vintage. Elegance, freshness, complexity, texture, plenitude, and precision are the descriptors for this vintage.

The result is incredible. In the 2022 Chardonnay… It’s the rare combination of power and amplitude combined with elegance, freshness, precision, and tension.

The aroma distracts you from your everyday thoughts. It grabs you and keeps your attention. A subtle flint frames ethereal aromas of ripe grapefruit, curry leaf, preserved lemon, ginger, stone fruit, allspice, and fennel.

Even as a young wine, its potential is so obvious. Prodigious from the word go.”

This is it. One of the most important wine moments of 2024.

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Vintage 2022 combined good yields with high quality, which must be something of a relief given the vicissitudes of recent seasons. Who'd be a farmer, eh? A little stuck match and funk, pink grapefruit and pear, spicy oak, some ginger, floral perfume sitting quietly behind that, waiting to unfurl. Intense, fine flinty texture and chalky grip, it's restrained, but the power through the palate, and the length is quite something. Sappy and alive. Here's a Chardonnay of quiet power and finesse. It's benchmark stuff. Read more
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
97 POINTS
Gary Walsh - The Wine Front

Vintage 2022 combined good yields with high quality, which must be something of a relief given the vicissitudes of recent seasons. Who'd be a farmer, eh? A little stuck match and funk, pink grapefruit and pear, spicy oak, some ginger, floral perfume sitting quietly behind that, waiting to unfurl. Intense, fine flinty texture and chalky grip, it's restrained, but the power through the palate, and the length is quite something. Sappy and alive. Here's a Chardonnay of quiet power and finesse. It's benchmark stuff.

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Ned Goodwin MW

Damn this is reductive, demanding an aggressive decant, or an eagle eye in the cellar and plenty of patience. Yet the material lurking behind this flinty, terse carapace is thoroughly impressive: pithy stone fruits, anise, glazed quince and citrus marmalade. Thrilling levels of sheer extract, intensity and length, to boot. Trust me. WAIT! Drinkable now, but best from 2027.

Expert Review
96 POINTS
Jeni Port - Halliday's Wine Companion

Exceptional style and class through and through...A thrilling ride awaits with a deep dive into arresting aromas filled with white flowers, stone fruits, Meyer lemon, nougat, almond meal and spice. Floats dreamily on the plate, fine in texture, resonating in fruit and well-judged oak, creamy in texture, bright in energy and acidity.

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Technical Attributes
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Tasting Notes

I do not know where to start with this wine. It is such a complete and complex tapestry of aromas, flavours and texture. It’s the rare combination of power and amplitude combined with elegance, freshness, precision and tension. The aroma distracts you from your everyday thoughts. It grabs you and keeps your attention. A subtle flint framing ethereal aromas of ripe grapefruit, curry leaf, preserved lemon, ginger, stone fruit, allspice and fennel. Even as a young wine its potential is so obvious. Once tasted I am transported. This is a wine that takes you on a journey of power balanced with finesse, complexity and extraordinary length. Constantly evolving and changing. Beautifully defined by its markedly tensing acidity and length. Prodigious from the word go. While currently in the hot flush of youth, this wine will age beautifully for 20 years. If consuming under 5 years please decant for at least an hour for maximum enjoyment. Will continue to improve over the next 8 – 15 years.

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Winemakers Note

The 2022 Chardonnay is the best chardonnay I have ever made.

All the Savaterre wines from 2022 are indeed from the best vintage of my life!.

It was a stunning vintage.

Warm days to ensure flavour ripeness followed by cool evenings to help retain acid. Rain at the right time to avoid disease and a long cool finish to the season to impart the subtle flavours we desire.

I am so incredibly pleased and proud of these wine.

Elegance, freshness, complexity, texture, plenitude and precision are the descriptors for this vintage.

The result is incredible.

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Customer Reviews
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Delivery Details

Ready for Delivery: Shipped from Sydney warehouse same or next business day


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