Salo To The Angels

Each night, I bury my love around you
You’re linked to my innocence

A little creepy? Don’t worry: nothing creepy about this wine. Intriguing, yes, but really this lyric from the Interpol track Say Hello to the Angels serves only to provide a clever-looking headline. If you read this far, no harm done. If you listen to the song – and, even better, drink this wine – much good done.
We had this Chardonnay at a blind tasting for friends curated by Cameron Hogarth of Chateau Yering. Cam chose as his theme leftfield acts by Yarra Valley winemakers, and this was my white of the night.
One half of Salo is Steve Flamsteed, who can’t put a foot wrong at Innocent Bystander. And don’t even get me started on Giant Steps; if the feeling ever sets in that single-vineyard wines are a me-too exercise, return to these. The sites have something to say and are beautifully articulate. In fact the Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 probably spoke to me more persuasively than any other Aussie red this year.
The other half is Dave Mackintosh, a winemaker of Kiwi/Scottish extraction who used to tread those Giant Steps. Mackintosh now spearheads Ar Fion, which translates as ‘our wine’ in Scottish Gaelic. He was last month a Young Gun of Wine finalist, in recognition of his vision and vino.
This wine was a joy to share. If you wanted to think about it, there was substance. But if you shut up and let go, it led you a merry dance. Great, gut-feel winemaking.
Salo Chardonnay 2011 Yarra Valley

I found a lot of noise on the nose, with lemon curd and cashew wafting through a lees-and-banana funk. Then a clean and intense palate of apple, lemon, spicy melon, fleshy nectarine, nuts and marzipan. The mouthfeel is silky with generous curves, and it’s shot through with a beam of acid and minerality. Alive and dynamic, a wine to keep you guessing and drinking. Excellent Chardonnay.

Price: $40 from Barrique Wine Store, Healesville – Alcohol 13% – Tasted 04/11/13

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