2021 Ballarat Chardonnay

Established in 1997 at Scotsburn, on a windswept ridge 1.5 km from the base of Mt Buninyong, this site is planted in old goldfield soils. These soils, remnants of the Ordovician period, are made up of clay and sandy quartz breccia along with angular quartz pieces, sandstone, mudstone and siltstone. At 500m elevation, warm days are followed by (acid-retaining) cold nights. Vine rows run north-south and are trained to a VSP canopy.

Growing Season
The 2020/2021 growing season at Scotsburn began with very cool and wet conditions at our Ballarat site. With good moisture in the soils and vigorous canopies, our hands-on approach kept the vines healthy. Whilst January and February saw the consistent Ballarat cool nights extending the ripening period. We hand-picked exceptionally late on the 30th of April with the vineyard yielding only 1.3t per acre.

At the winery, the grapes were chilled overnight before being whole-bunch pressed into tank, with juice then settled for 24 hours. It was then roughly racked to French barriques of 33% new Troncais, 16% with toasted heads. Indigenous ferment started after two days with movement in and out of our cool room keeping the maximum ferment temperature below 20˚C. When dry, barrels were regularly tasted until each barrel looked ready, at which point it was sulphured. The wine was left to mature on yeast lees for 10 months before the best barrels were selected and blended, lightly filtered and bottled.

Independent Review
"Don't be fooled by the low alcohol reading, there's a strength to this wine both in the mouthfeel and in the flavour. Green pineapple, leatherwood honey, melon and ripe peach flavours come folded with vanilla and nougat. It's full in body but the acid line is assertive. It will be a joy to watch this wine grow over the coming years."

94 Points Campbell Mattinson – James Halliday Wine Companion

(Published on 2 August 2023)