Chardonnay 2012

What a task and a joy it is each vintage to run the semi-clear juice of this aristocratic variety, one day after pressing, down to the cellar and straight into waiting 228 litre French oak barriques. Once the liquid gold warms to 15 degrees, a small amount of yeast is added and a day or 2 later so many magical fermentations begin. This is winemaking at its most traditional and basic yet as the wine proceeds at its own pace toward dryness, so there emerge as many distinctly different batches as there are barrels each unique in its flavour, texture and mouthfeel. The inevitable blending prior to bottling sometimes seems a crime.

 

This wine appears with a rich lemon hue and has long gangly legs which struggle to hold the shimmering meniscus aloft. The nose is piqued with interest and reaches (playfully) out from the glass in a bid to gain attention. Tinned pineapple, hints of pomegranate and spicy fennel bulb combine with slightly scruffy fungal/jungle notes to build intrigue. There are notes of unpasteurised soft-rind cheese no doubt a hangover from the warm ferment and long lazy malolactic fermentation which followed. The slight meatiness of a rich demi-glace sauce overlaps pungent strelitzia flower and spicy sandalwood to give an indie-jazz feel. The palate is immediately edgy, sprightly and energetic with a slipstream of crisp acidity leading into a soft chewy centre. Tangy granny smith apples and a playful lime angst swirl round with hints of cayenne or turmeric spice before succumbing to the vortex of sweet peach nectar and white chocolate brittle. There is something a little kinky and barn-raised to the welterweight leather and lace texture which builds slowly in intensity as it skips across the tongue and swamps the tonsils with a dam-buster effect.  The finish is nicely underpinned by subtle hints of the finest French oak which imparts a fine barky character. Enjoy this wine as an ingredient in a mussels mariniere or to accompany a creamy seafood chowder.

 

Technical Information:

Harvest date: 13 - 23 Apr 2012
Brix at Harvest:  22.3 - 23.5
Final Alcohol: 12.8%
pH: 3.13
Total Acidity: 7.3g/l
Residual Sugar: Nil
Bottling Date: 14 March 2013
Release Date: 5 May 2014
Cellaring: 2 to 6 years

 

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