2012 Ad Lib (Larry Cherubino) "Hen & Chicken" Chardonnay Western Australia SKU #1174058

Price: $9.99

JH 94
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Larry Cherubino is one of the most highly regarded winemakers in Australia…in fact he was recently voted (by his peers, the other top flight winemakers) into the current Top Ten Most Talented winemakers in the nation. He even won James Halliday's coveted "Winery of the Year" in 2011. His "Ad Lib" range allows you to sample his winemaking talents at very affordable prices especially since we are buying these wines at importer direct pricing! The name "Hen and Chicken" Chardonnay is in reference to the term "Hens and Chicks" commonly used to describe the uneven berry sizes associated with this particular Chardonnay clone. Known as the "Mendoza Clone" (nothing to do with Argentina!) the vine produces bunches with some normal size and some tiny little berries. The small berries give heightened concentration of flavor, acidity and excellent structure. Larry has selected this fruit from the cool ocean influenced Great Southern region where cool breezes from the ocean produce wines with excellent purity and balance. This wine is from single vineyard, planted on its own roots in 1999. The fruit is hand-picked, and wild fermented in mostly two year old French oak. The wine has juicy stone fruit with some crunchier orchard fruit characters, a lovely flinty, stony minerality and just a subtle hint of spicy oak. There is remarkable depth and concentration for such an inexpensive wine. This is hands down one of the best Chardonnay deals in the store. (Ryan Woodhouse K&L Wine Buyer)

Staff Reviews

  • Jim Chanteloup
    By: Jim Chanteloup
    K&L Staff Member
    There's a lot of "bells and whistles" with this wine that defies the price point. All Mendoza clones, wild yeast fermentation and French oak. This is a Chardonnay that shows balance and restraint, with light toast, pear, stone fruit, mineral and a hint of cinnamon spice. Good acidity and structure keep the wine refreshing and each sip coming back for more.
  • Sarah Covey
    By: Sarah Covey
    K&L Staff Member
    An amazing value for a delightful little wine. Apple, pear, mineral with a textural note absent in many inexpensive Chardonnay. Medium plus acidity and very quaffable!
    Top Value!
  • Mellyn Craig
    By: Mellyn Craig
    K&L Staff Member
    This Chardonnay is a steal and just in time for the holidays! The Ad Lib “Hen and Chicken” is a fruit-forward style Chardonnay, which is bursting with stone fruits and white flower notes. There is bright acidity and minerality which freshens up the palate. I highly recommend stocking up on this wine before this gem is gone!
  • Shaun Green
    By: Shaun Green
    K&L Staff Member
    What a price! This will be making a lot of party guests happy this year. Great medium intensity and concentration with nicely balanced acidity. The wood is there for texture only, not a big oaky component and the entirety comes off as a much more expensive wine. My go-to holiday white!
    Top Value!
  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    K&L Staff Member
    Get in while the gettin's good with this bottle. This is the best Chardonnay deal since we found the Bernier all those years ago. This is fresh, stonefruit-driven, refreshing white wine with character and nuance for $12.99. This is case wine. This is party wine. This is Thanksgiving wine. You roll into the party and people think you spend $25 a bottle because it tastes so darn good. Your secret is safe with us though. Love it.
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    Off the charts good for the money...I seriously think this is one of the best value Chards I have come across in my decade in the wine business. Lovely combination of rich orchard fruits, savory lees, flint, stony mineral tones and beautiful persistence and texture on the palate. Lovely ripeness but fresh acidity, bright drive and linear intensity. This is hard to beat even at $20.
    Top Value!
  • Joe Manekin
    By: Joe Manekin
    K&L Staff Member
    Mendoza clones, wild yeast, high solid debourbage according to my colleague Ryan W. With those data points I'm not surprised that this is really quite good! Bright, citric and tasty. The following is not hyperbole but the honest-to-god truth: there is no Chardonnay that can touch this for the price.


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