This is the very smart, top-level white from one of Australia's most recognised wine families. In their new venture, the 6th generation of this family have made a scintillating, bright, structured Chardonnay that is utterly delicious, balanced, intense, complex and long.
This is an incredible achievement - a hugely impressive wine with layers of flavours from cashew nut to white peach, citrus notes to integrated and subtle toasted oak. It shows layers and layers of flavour within a crystalline body and a vibrant almost saline finish. It has nervy tension and delivers mineral acidity with its jaw-dropping, glass-refilling 12% alcohol.
Selected from old vines grown by the Burge family's long-term friends, the Potters, these grapes are aged in new and used oak barrels for 6 months with regular battonage to add structure and balance to the bright acidity in the high-altitude grapes. It combines to give a wine that has at least 5-8 years of ageing potential.
Named after their great-grandmother Ethel, the Patroness of the family and community who volunteered in seemingly every cause going and loudly made a virtue of it: a characteristic that the community-minded Burges have held onto ever since.
The Burge family have lived in the Corryton Park Homestead since their parents bought it in the 1990s, at which stage they registered the name as a company - just in case they had to use it - which is very handy: the Grant Burge winery and name and use of the name was sold to Accolade wines in 2015 and of course means that they're never, ever allowed to use the name in association with wine. However, because they registered this one earlier, they're out of the loop.
Plus, they sold the name: they held onto the winery itself in Illaparra, the Cellar-door (which is a term for a winery's own shop) in Tanunda, and possibly most importantly, the 300 hectares of vineyard across south Australia. These feed numerous other family projects, but it's the Corryton project that has the potential to best emulate the previous successes of the family history.
The lovely label depicts a Gryffin (or gryphon), of which two stone carvings sit on the gates of the estate. Legend has it that these fantastical beasts guarded gems and precious metals: the analogy for the winery, homestead and vineyard isn't lost on the family!
Region: Adelaide Hills
Style: Svelte, Structured, Smooth, Refined, Pure, Mineral, Medium-Light, Meditation, Juicy, Iconic, Fruity, Fresh, Fleshy, Engaging, Elegant, Electric, Dry, Crisp, Creamy, Complex, Bright, Balanced
Best food matches: Warm Salads, Tuna, Trout, Tapas, Sushi, St Stephen's Day, Squid, Soft Cheeses, Shellfish, Seafood, Scallops, Salads, Roasts, Poultry, Pork, Oysters, Mature Cheeses, Lobster, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Chinese, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Beef, Baked Fish, Asparagus, Aperitif