Reserve Chardonnay 30 years in the making

Colmar Estate’s Bill Shrapnel does not use the term ‘reserve’ without due consideration.

With the first Colmar vines planted in 1991, it is only now that the winery has released its first Colmar Estate ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay. The new wine joins its sister wine, the 2012 Colmar Estate ‘Block 2’ Chardonnay.

“We have a firm believe that a reserve label should be just that; a label only used for the absolute best wines,” says vigneron Bill Shrapnel. “We have owned the vineyard for ten years and have been awarded trophies for our Chardonnay, however it is only now, with the vineyard at 30 of years of age, that we believe we have a wine of the quality that we feel comfortable labelling as a reserve wine.

“After four years of drought, 2021 was the first of three cool, wet vintages courtesy of the La Nina weather pattern. Although the viticulture has been challenging, with experience and judicious vineyard management being key, the quality of the white varieties, especially the chardonnay, has been superb. The fruit has lovely regional purity and plenty of bracing natural acidity.”

The 2021 Colmar Estate ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay is selected from just eight rows of clone P58 in the original 30-year-old Block 1. “We pick these rows separately, and a little later than the rest of our chardonnay,” explains Bill. “The yields are low and the fruit consistently has great depth of flavour and a touch more acidity.

“This small parcel was handled separately in the winery and just had that ‘je ne sais quoi’; subtle nuances and complexities that draw you back to it again and again.”

The partner of this new Reserve wine is the 2021 Colmar Estate ‘Block 2’ Chardonnay. It is a wine comprising three clones, 95, 96 and P58 and was hand-picked slightly earlier than the Reserve wine. “We have aimed to make a Chardonnay that captures the cold climate of the Orange region, with lifted aromatics, a whiff of reduction and a light, finely structured palate.”

The wines were whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented in French puncheons (25 percent new), with fortnightly bâtonnage over three months to build flavour, texture and complexity. 

With full malolatic fermentation, the wines were transferred out of oak after 11 months, blended and settled to allow for natural clarification prior to a final coarse filtration and bottling.

Pricing & distribution: The Colmar Estate wines are distributed in NSW, QLD, and ACT by L’Atelier, and in other states by Colmar Estate. They are also available direct from the winery via

  • 2021 Colmar Estate ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay (Orange region) $60.00
    Download high res bottle shot here
  • 2021 Colmar Estate ‘Block 2’ Chardonnay (Orange region) $50.00
    Download high res bottle shot here

For further information, samples, interviews, or images please contact:

David Cumming at Define Wine Marketing & Communications: 0414 736 342 or 
Bill Shrapnel at Colmar Estate: 0419 977 270 or

Colmar Estate is owned by vignerons Bill and Jane Shrapnel, who purchased the cool climate, six-hectare vineyard in 2013.  The vineyard sits at a lofty elevation of 980 metres on Orange’s Mount Canobolas. Planted in the 1990s, the vineyard is one of Australia’s highest and comprises chardonnay, riesling, pinot gris, gewürztraminer, pinot noir and shiraz.

 Colmar Estate
Colmar Estate