2021 Chardonnay, Margaret River   $45.00

94 Points – James Halliday Wine Companion

“Bâtonnage was conducted regularly and MLF occurred in some barrels. For all the work, the cool year has kept this totally in line. It’s like a picture of opulence, without actually being opulent. Kind of like a brilliant outdoor fresco. It has crushed nuts, briny acid, toasty oak, salted peach … it’s all there, but it’s restrained. Very smart and well handled. Delicious.” Erin Larkin.

The inspiration for this wine is easy. Chardonnay loves Margaret River, and Margaret River loves Chardonnay. Our love for local Chardonnay is unconditional, and with love comes great respect. Respect for Margaret River as one of the best locations to grow Chardonnay in Australia. Respect for the individual traits of the differing Chardonnay clones grown in the region, the subtle variance of terroir, and particularly what vintage conditions get dished out. Ultimately this all then combines to the greatest respect for the critical role of winemaking in shaping great fruit into brilliant Chardonnay.

Stylistically, we say the 2021 Chardonnay is a contemporary Margaret River Chardonnay with a classical edge.

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The inspiration for this wine is easy. Chardonnay loves Margaret River, and Margaret River loves Chardonnay. Our love for local Chardonnay is unconditional, and with love comes great respect. Respect for Margaret River as one of the best locations to grow Chardonnay in Australia. Respect for the individual traits of the differing Chardonnay clones grown in the region, the subtle variance of terroir, and particularly what vintage conditions get dished out. Ultimately this all then combines to the greatest respect for the critical role of winemaking in shaping great fruit into brilliant Chardonnay.

Stylistically, we say the 2021 Chardonnay is a contemporary Margaret River Chardonnay with a classical edge.

Lucky for us, the 2021 vintage came in behind a ripper growing season the previous year. The mild spring in 2020 made for great condition and a solid foundation for vintage 2021. In general, budburst and flowering was fairly normal, yields were ever so slightly better than 2020 but still lower than average on the whole, and Marri tree blossom was flowering which helped reduce the bird pressure. The unlucky part of vintage 2021 was the weather systems that resulted from La Niña and labour shortages due to Covid.

Fortunately for us, the fruit for this single vineyard Chardonnay  was sourced from a grower in the very northern part of the Yallingup subregion which meant that the early ripening allowed us to reach full grape maturity and harvest before the first cyclone that came in on February 6 and brought with it 40mm of rain. This earlier pick for the region allowed us early access to available pickers and also took out any chance of dilution or disease pressure. Up until the first cyclone on February 6, the weather had been perfect ripening weather with warm days and cool nights to ripen the fruit, but retain the acid at the same time.

Our fruit was hand harvested in the early hours of the morning on February 5 which is the usual harvest time for this particular vineyard. This chardonnay is 100% Gingin clone and in 2021 the fruit presented with its typical small bunches with a significant portion of chicken berries to hens which kept the acid levels up and allowed flavours to develop further on the vine. This vineyard typically yields low, and the significantly higher proportion of chicken to hen berries further reduced the yield – but to the benefit of quality.

Our general take on vintage 2021 was that although it was challenging and exhausting in the vineyards, the effort paid off with clean fruit harvested. Opportunely for us, the Chardonnay came off before the challenges commenced and we were fortunate enough to have beautiful clean fruit to play with in the winery.

The hand harvested fruit was refrigerated for 24 hours and allowed to cool down before being whole bunch pressed direct to an even mix of new, two year old and three year old French oak barriques where it remained on solids for 10 months prior to bottling. Regular stirring of the lees through fermentation was conducted but not carried on after fermentation, and malolactic formation was cut off based on taste.

In a glass the wine presents with a vibrant straw tinged yellow.

Lifted intense varietal characteristics of citrus and stone fruit combined, and complimented by pretty white flowers.

The palate expresses a flinty liveliness of stone fruit, with well-balanced natural acidity and complexity.

  • Alcohol
    12.5%
  • Drinking Best
    2022 - 2032