This single vineyard wine is grown in the ultra-cool Drumborg sub-region of Henty, in far south-west Victoria. It is planted in degraded volcanic buckshot topsoil over a permeable cracking red clay base. The vines are VSP trained and grow with moderate vigour. Far enough inland to experience continental-like cool nights, the site is also significantly influenced by its proximity to the Great Southern Ocean.
The 2020/2021 growing season was challenging in Henty, punctuated at critical times with highly favourable conditions: at budburst, flowering and during the strangely cool veraison in February. The season was very wet with rain events followed by more rain, cold and grey, then monsoon-like humidity just before harvest. Finally, summer arrived right as we were preparing to pick. We suspect this set of conditions will be nigh on impossible to repeat, especially the cold February. However, Chardonnay is grown in some of the coldest viticultural regions of the world, so its quality was never in doubt.
The fruit was whole bunch pressed and settled in tank overnight. The next day it was racked to French oak barriques, around 30% first use, where indigenous fermentation started after 2 days. Movement in and out of a cool room to ensure the maximum ferment temperature is kept under 20˚C. The wine matured on yeast lees for 8 months prior to the best barrels selected, blended, and bottled.
This wine displays a worthy match of vineyard provenance and the mighty Chardonnay grape variety.
“Crushed fennel, cracked wheat, grapefruit, pure peach and nectarine knitted together with nougat and smoked cedar wood. What a combination of flavours. There's texture here, too, along with spice notes and some crackle to the pop of fruit. It's also a little bit brooding, a little 'in need of time', but for sheer quality, this wine has it all going on.”
95 Points Campbell Mattinson – James Halliday Wine Companion
(Published on 27 June 2023)
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