2017 Chardonnay, Margaret River $40.00
AWARDED 92 POINTS FROM RAY JORDAN
“This is an impressive wine that is made using a combination of largely gingin clones with some Burgundian clonal influences. Has aromas of minerals and creamy cashew and subtle stone fruit. The oak has been expertly handled to add some complexity and structural support. Palate is controlled and long. Nice wine. Terrific current drinking with some potential. 92 / 100 (Best drinking: Now to 2023).”Ray Jordan, The West Australian, 17 March 2018.
Our goal was simple – to show respect for the chardonnay grape. Two vineyards (Alexanders and Miamup), two sub-regions (Carbunup and Wilyabrup) and two clones (Gingin and Burgundian Clone 5). We’ve created a Chardonnay that displays finesse and elegance, with refined oak treatment and the deep, beautiful mouth coating characters that showcase the Margaret River region. This is a classical style Chardonnay with tropical, stone fruit flavours which present a distinctly supple, creamy texture, with well-balanced acidity and complexity.
Tasting Notes ~ Download PDF
“This is an impressive wine that is made using a combination of largely gingin clones with some Burgundian clonal influences. Has aromas of minerals and creamy cashew and subtle stone fruit. The oak has been expertly handled to add some complexity and structural support. Palate is controlled and long. Nice wine. Terrific current drinking with some potential. 92/100 (Best drinking: Now to 2023).”
The West Australian, 17 March 2018
Chardonnay loves Margaret River, and Margaret River loves Chardonnay. Our love for the local Chardonnay is unconditional, and with love comes great respect. Respect that Margaret River is the best place to grow Chardonnay in Australia. Respect for the varying traits of the different clones of Chardonnay in the region, and the subtle variance of terroir. Respect for the critical role of winemaking in turning great fruit into brilliant Chardonnay. And respect that this wine will always have a place among discerning wine drinkers.
Clearly we set out to show proper respect for this grape. We’ve created a Chardonnay that displays finesse and elegance, with refined oak treatment and the deep, beautiful mouth coating characters that showcase the region.
The 2017 Chardonnay is a classical style Chardonnay with tropical, stone fruit flavours present, and with a distinctly supple, creamy texture, with well-balanced acidity and complexity. It is quite stunning, displaying liveliness and flavour at relatively low alcohol levels.
Although Chardonnay is typically one of the early ripening varietals, this vintage was harvested slightly later, in the cool morning of early March. The reason for this was the mild, cool spring weather experienced all across the southern part of the state. These conditions were beneficial for our Chardonnay to maintain the fresh, bright aromas with some of the natural acidity. The Chardonnay was picked slightly lower at 12.5 Baumé to help restrain the phenolic nature of the clones used, and create a more finely structured wine, with slightly lower alcohol levels.
This Chardonnay is a blend of fruit from two Margaret River sub regions – Wilyabrup and Carbunup, and a blend of two different clones – Gingin, and a Burgundian Clone (Clone 5). The majority of the fruit (80%) for this wine was sourced from the lower-yielding Gingin clone, in specific rows, in four particular blocks from the Miamup Vineyard in Wilyabrup. The rest of the fruit was sourced from the Burgundian Clone at the Alexanders Vineyard in Carbunup.
Despite its lower yield, the Gingin clone is ideal for this Chardonnay and clearly loves the warm, maritime climate of Margaret River. It has gifted our wine great depth and complex citrus and tropical fruit flavour, due to the high skin to juice ratio of the grapes. Interestingly, the Gingin clone is affected by a phenomenon called ‘hen and chicken’, where the less ripe ‘chicken’ berries are mixed in with perfectly ripe golden ‘hen’ berries. These little pea-sized chicken berries provide the wine with natural acidity. Fortunately, in Margaret River there are more ‘hen’ than ‘chicken’ grapes so the wine gets the perfect amount of acidity. The purposeful addition of Burgundian Clone 5 was to blend in these berries which create a finer, more restrained wine style and bring down the alcohol levels – a little trick we learnt during our seasons in California.
The Wilyabrup Gingin fruit was de-stemmed, pressed, inoculated with a yeast strain isolated from Burgundy, and went through barrel ferment in new, and one year old charry medium plus toasted French oak barrels. The Carbunup fruit was de-stemmed, pressed, inoculated, and went through both a primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentation in charry new French oak. This wine was matured on yeast lees and with regular bâttonage for 6-8 weeks to enhance mouth feel and complexity. Both fruit parcels were fermented and aged for 6 months before being blended, fined, cold stabilised, filtered and bottled.
In a glass it presents pale green with a straw tinged hue.
Lifted intense varietal characteristics of white peach with a hint of lemon, complimented by some nutty characters.
The palate expresses a purity of good fruit with flavours of crisp nectarine, hints of apricot, and lemon curd. Careful oak integration through gentle stirring on yeast lees has resulted in a desirable rich and creamy palate which, together with the tight lemon acidity, has kept the many layers of flavour together for a seamless finish.
We aim for minimal intervention to let the fruit express itself, yet there are certain things we do need to maintain the quality and integrity of this wine. We’ve added minimal sulphites to stop the malolactic fermentation, stabilise the wine, and ensure its shelf life. It has also been fined with the aid of skim milk products or Isinglass to remove harsh phenolic compounds. We use this method as opposed to other by-products as it is extremely gentle in nature and does not strip flavour nor character from the wine, creating a final, high quality polish. This wine was cold stabilised and filtered prior to bottling.
Total Acidity7.7 g/l
Residual Sugar0.97 g/l
Drinking Best2017 - 2021