Certainly a misnomer! The Ugly Duckling Winery. A real gem of a find in the Swan Valley and the weather was splendid to enjoy a long lunch with friends on an Easter Monday. The cellar door is smallish with the good old Australian verandah running the length of a rustic converted cottage overlooking the vines. Talking with the owners Andrew and Joanne gives you an insight to the passion they have for their land and the hard work that has gone into building their Ugly Duckling Winery.
What better experience is there to sit under the trees looking out over the vineyard with a great food and a chilled bottle of Chardonnay? I always feel connected with the vines when you go for a stroll and view the fruit doing their magic. Though the harvesting was all over at this time and the leaves are just taking on their autumn show.
I was very taken by the 2010 Chardonnay. Even with six years with barrel- ferment, it has resulted in quite a more restrained profile than the usual toasty oak associated with a wooded chardonnay. The subtleness of peach and nectarine aromas contributed to quite an elegant wine. It always amazes me and still discovering how all the different aromas compounds affect the flavours of the wine and then throw in the environmental factor. I thought it was quite a balanced result not an ugly duckling in anyway and it should cellar well.
Alas no ducks in sight, however I have come home with this lovely chardonnay from the Swan Valley to enjoy at a later date.