FROM THE RE­GION

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Indulgence -

OAKRIDGE 864 is the chardon­nay most wine­mak­ers want to drink. It came into the lime­light with the 2004 vin­tage and built on its rep­u­ta­tion in 2005 and now with the 2006 ($60, 96 points). The 864 se­ries are lim­ited pro­duc­tion, su­per-qual­ity wines sold largely through the cel­lar door at 864 Ma­roon­dah Hwy, Cold­stream, Vic­to­ria, hence the name. It has been sourced from a patch in an Up­per Yarra vine­yard that wine­maker David Bick­nell iden­ti­fied as hav­ing spe­cial qual­i­ties, then sought to al­low the qual­ity and per­son­al­ity of the grapes to shine through. It is fer­mented in 500-litre French pun­cheons with no em­pha­sis on new oak (us­ing wild and in­oc­u­lated yeasts), and af­ter that largely left to its own de­vices. Sadly, Oakridge lost the con­tract for the grapes while it dis­en­tan­gled it­self from the Evans & Tate re­struc­tur­ing, so this par­tic­u­lar 864 has no im­me­di­ate suc­ces­sor. www.oakridgeestate.com.au. James Halliday

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