In a nutshell: One of the most sought after South Australian Chardonnays made in the Adelaide Hills.
The lowdown: The Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay has rightly established itself as one of the top Aussie chardonnays out there. The winemaker Adam Wadewitz says that 2018 was a "stand out year" resulting in fruit with good flavour and balanced acidity. This wine has great presence, showing white flowers and lemon blossom it also highlights notes of citrus and nectarine. With modest use of French oak barrels for maturation the aim here is for elegance, restraint, the ability to age, bright acidity and a generosity of flavour. Something it achieves with ease.
When to drink: Drinking really well now it will only get better over the next few years and will make a great partner to poultry or feathered game dishes.
The renowned South Australian wine estate of Shaw + Smith was the result of a long lunch in 1989 when cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith decided to realise a long held dream to make wine together. Based in the rolling Adelaide Hills their vision remains as it was which is to make exciting, refined wines exclusively from this part of the world that ranks among Australia's best viticultural areas. The wines are made from a number of sites throughout the Adelaide Hills. They specialise in grape varieties suited to the cooler climate, namely Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz.
Their Sauvignon Blanc is sourced predominantly from their own vineyards at Balhannah and Lenswood. While for Shiraz, the warmer sub-area of Macclesfield contributes fruit with structure and richness, with the cooler Balhannah vineyard contributing spice and perfume to the mix.
The winemaking team consists of Martin Shaw and senior winemaker Adam Wadewitz who joined in 2013 and is one of Australia's brightest winemaking talents. They work closely with viticulturalist Murray Leake. Their wines show wonderful varietal definition, particularly in the depth and spectrum of flavour, natural acid balance and overall finesse. There is an excitement about each of the Shaw + Smith wines that has made them one of the most successful producers in the Adelaide Hills.