2020 Chenin Blanc, Margaret River $30.00
92 Points – James Halliday Wine Companion
Treeton single vineyard Chenin Blanc with 12 hours of skin contact prior to pressing to a mix of tanks and barrels for ferment and maturation for 6 months with regular lees stirring and some malo. Lean, minerally style with layers of structure. The palate presents as a flinty, minerally style with some gentle textural charm and a crunchy acidity on the finish.
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Tasting Notes ~ Download PDF
Three main factors inspired us to make our first Chenin Blanc:
- We are big fans of Vouvray and both South African and Loire styled Chenin Blanc.
- Being motivated from a number of our friends and fellow winemakers making some really tasty Chenin in the last few years.
- Obtaining more of understanding of the versatility of the grape and creative varietal control you can have with the winemaking.
To that end we jumped on the Chenin craze and experimented with a number of different styles and winemaking techniques – some stayed in tank and some went to oak. Of the ones that went to oak, some were kept with some residual sugar in them, some we encouraged to undergo secondary fermentation and others were cut off, some were even allowed to mature in an oxidative style… This allowed us to have a number of options across or 2020 skus. For example, some Chenin Blanc was assigned to our 2020 Rosé to provide an additional layer of freshness and aromatics, some went into our 2020 Fieldie to give it a bit of zip, some were left on skins for 9 months (for our ‘Arancia’) and the best barrels were chosen and retained for our 2020 Chenin Blanc.
2020 was an unusual vintage for Margaret River. Harvest started almost a month earlier than normal years, yields were significantly lower, ripening conditions were near on perfect, the marri blossomed, and the last half of vintage was conducted in COVID-19 lockdown! Although 2020 was a challenging year around the globe, in Margaret River we have been very fortunate with exceptional fruit quality – albeit with lower yields. The lower yields were due to the smaller berries and bunch sets which were a factor from the 2018 conditions on the preparation of the fruitful nodes, as well as some wet weather impact during flowering and fruit set. Although production volumes were down due, the small berries have provided exceptional fruit due to the concentration.
Apart from rain during flowering, the rest of the ripening conditions were ideal with warmer than average conditions and no rainfall, bird, or disease pressure. The Chenin Blanc for this vintage was sourced from a grower in the Treeton subregion and was harvested in the early hours of the morning in late February.
For the 2020 Chenin Blanc, the harvested fruit was gently crushed and destemmed and allowed to cool on skins for 12 hours before being pressed to tank and allowed to settle and cool for 24 hours before being transferred to 2 and 3 year old French oak barriques for fermentation and maturation. The barrels were frequently stirred during ferment, and less frequently during maturation. Maturation was in barrel, on full lees for a period of 9 months before being lightly filtered and bottled. The best barrels were chosen for this wine.
In a glass this wine is pale straw coloured with a chartreuse green hue.
This wine is dominated by citrus and quince aromatics.
The palate presents as a flinty, minerally style with some gentle textural charm and a crunchy acidity on the finish.