Western Australia-based Burch Family Wines has two wineries: one in Margaret River, the other further south in Great Southern.
It produces wine under several brands: Howard Park, MadFish, Jeté (sparkling), and also has a French connection with Marchand & Burch.
Within in each brand there are numerous styles of wine.
More important is the family. They are a fantastic group of people, all incredibly smart and articulate. As for the wines, I don’t think I have tasted a poor one in any of the Burch Family ranges. Head of the winemaking team is Janice McDonald, a very talented winemaker with the magic touch. Reviewed below is a selection of Burch chardonnays
Marchand & Burch Porongurup Chardonnay 2015: It seems logical that the $73 Marchand & Burch is far too young to release. Those people who spend $70 or more on a bottle of wine are in most cases into wine (or just rich and dumb), so will know the wine’s glory time is yet to come. It’s made from the gin gin clone of chardonnay, which is recognised as the best in WA, and the vineyard is one of the oldest in the region. It’s a very fine wine indeed, with all parts in the right places, so will be worth the money asked. 92 points at tasting but several more to come as it ages.
Marchand & Burch ‘Villages’ Chardonnay 2015: Good wine, but I found it disjointed at the time of tasting, with its zing of acid pushing other aspects to the side. I should think this will make an excellent wine once winter 2016 is done and we start coming into spring, say October 2016. Buy and hold is my advice. A mean 92 now with a couple more later.
Howard Park Western Australia Chardonnay 2015: Yes, it has the chardonnay characters of bread and yeast that the notes talk about, and it is good wine. I’m just not convinced its $54 good. 92 points, with maybe more to come. We will see.
Howard Park ‘Flint Rock’ Great Southern Chardonnay 2015: Remarkably drinkable at this young age, with strong mineral character (after tasting I read in the accompanying notes, “Flint Rock epitomises the fine mineral character” etc). It’s a beautifully crafted wine that tasted good and I enjoyed every sip later that day with salmon. 94 points and well worth $27.
Howard Park ‘Miamup’ Margaret River Chardonnay 2015: Shy at first, fills out as it travels, but never to the stage of fat. Beautifully balanced and rewards the drinker with sensual flavours on the finish. 94 points and worth $28.