Close Menu

‘Rare and exceptional’ Australian Chardonnay to debut on La Place

Just when we thought the ‘September’ hors Bordeaux campaign was over, we have a late new release – and a very exciting one it is too.

Tomorrow (19 October), sees the debut release on La Place of the Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay – in the form of the 2021 vintage. The wine comes to La Place as an exclusivity of the small but highly respected Bordeaux négociant Ets. Jean Pierre Moueix (JP Moueix) who will oversee its distribution in over 75 countries.

This rare and exceptional Australian Chardonnay is a very logical addition to La Place’s autumn series, sitting as it does very comfortably alongside a now extensive line-up of Californian, Italian, French, Spanish, Argentine and Chilean icons.

The 2021 vintage, which I was lucky enough to taste this week (see tasting note below), has already garnered an array of perfect scores from such Australian fine wine authorities as Andrew Caillard MW and Erin Larkin, but also from Jane Anson, Jeremy Oliver, Lisa Perotti-Brown and Georgina Hindle. This is the first time an Australian white wine has been awarded 100 points in the Wine Advocate. As indeed it is (with suitable apologies for the spoiler alert) for The Drinks Business!

Winemaker and owner of Giaconda, Rick Kinzbrunner, said the new chapter for Giaconda and JP Moueix “emphasises an increasing recognition for Australian fine wine in the exclusive international market developed by La Place de Bordeaux.”

“It gives us an opportunity to tell our unique story to the most engaged fine wine buyers in the world, from far-flung Beechworth in the Victorian goldfields,” he said.

JP Moueix’s Managing Director, Edouard Moueix, confirmed the move stating that ‘Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay is one of Australia’s most visionary and renowned white wines. Rick Kinzbrunner exemplifies a winemaking philosophy that respects the natural environment and a unique terroir. With a practical and forthright approach to winemaking, Giaconda Chardonnay interconnects nature and nurture to make something lasting and beautiful. As both a producer and a distributor, we share the same philosophy and are proud to continue to build this excellent partnership’.

This important milestone for Giaconda has been overseen and facilitated by Emma Thienpont and Tom Portet of the courtiers International First Growths. Their specialism is to bring Australia’s finest collectible wines to La Place. As Tom Portet explains, ‘Giaconda Estate Vineyard Chardonnay represents the elite level of winemaking and craftsmanship within the ultra-fine wine scene and has become notoriously difficult to source. Working with JP Moueix will allow the wine to be distributed more effectively in specialised fine wine markets around the world. The 2021 vintage reflects Giaconda Chardonnay’s varietal stardom in Australia, but also begins a new era of international distribution with the Moueix family’s incredible portfolio of fine wine and exclusivities from Saint-Émilion, Pomerol and the Napa Valley.’

Emma Thienpont placed the release in its wider context, suggesting that for many years La Place de Bordeaux has been the traditional sales channel for the most admired wines from Bordeaux and around the world. “With JP Moueix now part of the Autumn releases, it reaffirms our belief that Australia’s best wines can compete with the greatest wines in the world,” she said. “This new addition to the JP Moueix portfolio symbolises an enlightened forward-looking agenda within La Place for the world’s most exquisite wines, regardless of their country of origin.”

Tasting Note

Giaconda Chardonnay 2021 (Beechworth, Victoria; 100% Chardonnay; pH 3.22; a final yield of 35 hl/ha; from a terroir of gravel over clay in the foothills of the Victorian Alps; a total production of just 1000 cases; aged for 12 months in oak barrels, 30% of which were new; 13.5% alcohol – though the technical sheet says 14%). A wine likely to bring a (suitably enigmatic) smile to the face of even the most tight-lipped of wine-lovers. This is stunningly impressive and utterly beguiling in its combination of intensity, density and concentration, on the one hand, and yet radiant purity, luminosity and rapier-like purity on the other. Candlewax, saffron, cordite, hazelnut shell and a flinty minerality (a somewhat explosive combination) enrobe the bitingly fresh apple peel, citrus, yuzu and peach notes. Viscous in texture, yet lithe, fluid and dynamic, I find this vibrant and vivid. The oak is already fantastically well integrated and the sense of tension here is visceral – electrostatic, even. It’s a little like conducting a tasting whilst attached to a Van de Graaf generator! Stunning – almost literally – and with very considerable aging potential. Quite simply the best southern hemisphere Chardonnay I have ever tasted. 100.


Click here for full tasting notes of the latest release by country: ItalySpain, France, Austria and Germany; the USA; Argentina, Chile and Uruguay; New Zealand, Australia and South Africa). 

Read more:

The star releases of hors Bordeaux 2023: part 1 – The Drinks Business

The star releases of hors Bordeaux 2023: part 2 – a wake up for La Place

The star releases of hors Bordeaux 2023: part 3 – the myths, fragility and future

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No