Chardonnay

All of the chardonnays have been made in a relatively traditional fashion. i.e. handpicked, whole bunch pressed and then fermentation in   French oak barriques (20-30% new). Elevage has involved lees stirring and in the early years malolactic fermentation was encouraged. Since 2011 most of the wine has been made without undergoing MLF.

The first vintage under our own label was in 2005 and as of 2014 it is still drinking well (sadly there is none left for sale).

The 2006 wine was from the highest yield we have obtained from the vineyard, at 2 1/2 tonnes to the acre. (Our average yield is about 2 tonnes to the acre). It has always drunk well and has been one of our most popular Chardonnays. It is still very fresh and is only just starting to show some development characters but we believe it will continue to drink well for may years yet.It is still available for purchase although it is getting to a stage where soon we may have to  limit puchases per customer (or increase the price!).

We sold our grapes in 2007 and didn't make any wine . and then there was the famous, or rather infamous 2008 vintage. This was because of the record heatwave which occured just as vintage was approaching. Grapes everywhere  went from ripe to over ripe in the blink of an eye. We had some grapes coming in at Beaumes of over 16. (Beaume is a measure of the sugar content in a grape. It approximates to what the alcohol will be in a wine which ferments to dryness. Asyou can imagine a chardonnay with alcohol in excess of 16% is definitely not what the doctor ordered!). Incredibly though our 2008 Chardonnay had an amazing flavour and in blind tastings it was often singled out as the best wine. We discarded over half of the grapes however and so not a lot was made and it too is now no longer available.

We did not make a Chardonnay in 2010 with all of the grapes going into our Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine.

The 2011 was a cool year and led to some of the best wines we have yet produced. The Chardonnay has been something of a chameleon. Its always good but at times I think oak is too obvious a component of the wine and then at other times I think it is the best Chardonnay we have yet made!

 Although, how can I possibly say that when the first Chardonnay I made solo is the 2012! Perhaps I should say my favourites of the Chardonnays I didn't make! At any rate, immodest as it sounds, the 2012 Chardonnay is an exceptional wine. But not from anything I did as the wine maker. It was an extraordinary year with an extremely early vintage and our yields varied from a half a tonne to the acre (the Pinot  vineyard ) to 3/4 tonne to the acre (the chardonnay vineyard). So the flavours in the grapes were quite wonderful and it was just a matter of not messing it up when making the wine. A bit more new oak was used than usual and the volumes of course were right down. 

2013 was a hot vintage and the Chardonnay is quite full bodied. However, if drunk reasonably cold it is a very nice style of wine. In 2014 all our chardonnay went in to our Sparkling base wine . For 2015 and beyond I am trying to produce chardonnays with less overt fruit (and oak) character and which are lower in alcoholthe Australian norm.  At 12.8% alcohol the 2016 is perhaps closest to this template so far, but I think I can take the alcohol lower without sacrificing quality.

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