The Road Block joins the 1er, Syberia and Estate Chardonnay in the Hoddles portfolio. Look out for core of cool-climate white stonefruit with lemon zest and juice and wet stone minerality. The wine should age gracefully for 7-10 years.
The fruit for this single block wine comes from a block originally planted to Sauvignon Blanc. It was then pulled out and replanted with the Mendosa clone of Chardonnay on 101-14 rootstock. It's a very cool, east-facing block, it only sees the morning sun and is planted on a steep block with the rows terraced. Even at low sugars, Hoddles achieves ripeness and richness through the mid-palate as the flavour is well ahead of sugar in the ripening phase.
The Road Block differs in style to its stablemate Chardonnays as it’s picked early (11.5 Baume) before whole bunches are pressed to tank and allowed to settle overnight in the vineyard dust. It is then transferred to older barriques for fermentation.
Cool, uncompromising savoury style here. Lime, lime rind, chicken stock, mint, fennel and fern fronds, oatmeal and a dab of spice. It’s firm and crunchy, grapefruit pith and chalky texture, Parmesan rinds coming through on a long tight finish. For the synaethetes among us, the colours are distinctly green and white. Tang and juice. Different, but very good.
95 points, The Wine Front (May 2020)
Bright, light-yellow colour, with a restrained, subtly complex bouquet of lightly-toasted almond and slaty, stony-mineral nuances. The palate is lean and taut, reserved and youthful, bone-dry and almost austere. A steely kind of chardonnay that shouts cool-climate. (From the coldest block at Hoddles Creek. No additions)
93 points, The Real Review (May 2020)
I adore the tightness and restraint of this gorgeous wine. A defined lemon core surrounded by a layer of cream and gentle sulfides. Citrusy and savoury rather than fruity.
93 points, The Real Review (May 2019)
From an east-facing contoured vineyard that catches all the morning sun. Perfectly ripened white stone fruit with a quick squeeze of Meyer lemon. Has been fermented and matured in French oak in such a way as to leave the gorgeous fruit centre stage, the palate of endless length.
98 points, Wine Companion (November 2020)
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.