On the nose hazelnut, melon and stone fruit, as well as complex lees character, including ‘struck match’. The palate is complex too, with a fresh nuttiness and citrus characters, overlain with the gorgeous oak and wonderful length.
We had good winter rains after a few seasons of below average rainfall. This was a late season: budburst was approximately 2-3 weeks late, and harvest started similarly behind our standard season (we usually start picking Chardonnay in early/ mid February). This year we picked whites in late February/ early March. Unseasonal rains in March threw a spanner in the works somewhat, but luck and good management helped us dodge most of the bullets. Overall this was a very long vintage with moderate yields which tested Joch’s nerves a little more than usual.
A gentle wild ferment in the very best oak (100% French oak, 40% of which was brand new), high solids, gentle processing... this wine had it all in terms of winemaking technique. The grapes were pressed straight into barrel after picking, and underwent a natural ferment (relying on yeasts found naturally in the vineyard rather than cultured yeast). Allowing the wine to remaining on high solids gave the wine a chance to develop complexity and depth of flavour, as well as acting as a natural anti-oxidant by scavenging any oxygen lurking about in the barrels. The Chardonnay was bottled straight from barrel. About 10% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation.
Wine 100 Australia's Wine Business Magazine Mike Bennie May 2012
Texture, finesse and understated elegance are the themes here, making for a much more refreshing and citrus-driven Chardonnay than you might expect for this warm region.
The Wine Advocate #205 February 2013 Lisa Perrotti-Brown
The 2011 Chardonnay is fermented naturally in 50% new french oak and exudes aromas of warm apples, apricots and pink guava with suggestions of cedar, Brazil nuts and yeast extract and preserved lemon. Medium-bodied with a lovely silken texture, a good concentration of stone fruit and nut flavours and refreshing acid backbone, it finishes long.
Drink now to 2015
Picking Date: 25th Jan 2011, 3rd March 2011 and 4th March 2011
Bottling Date: 8th December 2011