Adrian Rodda won the James Halliday Chardonnay challenge this year. This is quite an achievement, as many of Australia's leading Chardonnays participate. The 2017 A. Rodda Chardonnay comes from the Willow Lake Vineyard in the Yarra Valley, a (relatively) high altitude vineyard known for the quality of its Chardonnay fruit.
This wine is on the richer side of the Yarra Valley spectrum. Tropical flavours, such as melon pineapple and passionfruit hit the palate. It is a much bigger wine than the Oakridge Chardonnay from the same vineyard. The wine is showy, not meant as a negative in this case. The mouthfeel is full and smooth, and there is sufficient acidity to drive the wine down the palate. This is an elegant, smooth and satisfying Chardonnay, for me slightly on the broad side. It will be interesting to see if it develops more complexity with age.