2008 Nugan Estate Chardonnay Frasca's Lane Vineyard King Valley

Nugan Estate Chardonnay Frasca's Lane Vineyard King Valley Josh Raynolds from the International Wine Cellar is really responsible for the Nugan Frasca's Lane coming-out party on WineAccess. He raved about the 2005, describing it as being "like a $75 premier cru from Chassagne-Montrachet," rating it 92 points. He gave the 2006 similar praise, but we had jumped on it before the review even came out. We sold over 375 cases and the rave consumer reviews are still coming in.

What makes this Australian Chardonnay so...well...so un-Australian? Frasca's Lane Vineyard is set in the southern portion of King Valley, over 2,500 feet in elevation, midway between the valley floor and the "Australian Alps." Typically, when a wine writer describes an Australian Chardonnay as being akin to a premier cru white Burgundy, it's a head-scratcher. But when you see this unusual site, with the rare cool-climate combination of brisk evenings, but warm summer days -- that Burgundian combination of richness and fine acid balance comes into focus.

Frasca's Lane Vineyard
Frasca's Lane Vineyard
So what of the 2008? This one may be a bit richer than the 2006, with a touch more new wood on the nose -- but it's still signature Frasca's Lane.

Tasting Notes from the WineAccess Travel Log
"Ripe apple fruit on the nose, kissed with new oak. Medium-bodied with excellent fruit intensity and depth. Fine underlying acidity with good minerality. Richer and a bit more New World than the 2005. This is a top-shelf Chardonnay that combines Aussie richness with the sinew of the Old World. Drink now-2012."