The spring of 2014 started well with warm weather resulting in a good flowering giving moderate crop levels. The summer was warm but tailed o to a long dry autumn with cool nights perfect for ripening the Chardonnay grapes without any disease. The grapes were harvested mid April; a long hang time giving richly flavoured grapes with good acidity levels because of the cool nights.
This is our third single vineyard wine from the Waipara Valley; the grapes originating from Riverview Vineyard which is situated in the North-West sector of the Valley. The soils consist of free draining gravels with a wind blown loess on top. Only Mendosa Clone is planted here which often su ers the disorder known as Hen and Chicken (Millerandage in French). In 2014 there were lots of ‘chicken’ or small berries which resulted in a very concentrated wine.
The grapes were hand harvested, the whole bunches foot stomped and then left for 3 hours before pressing. Although the bunches had been gently crushed the stems were still intact for the pressing process. This helps retain the natural acidity of the grapes and resulting wine. The juice; 100% full solids with no settling was transferred to a new French puncheon (500l barrel) for fermentation. The natural yeast fermented the juice to a dry wine and the natural bacteria carried out the malo-lactic fermentation. After one year the wine was removed from puncheon and bottled. There was no protein or cold stabilisation or any additives, only a low level of sulphur dioxide was added. This wine may throw a small deposit with time in the bottle.
Complex toasty, grapefruit, burnt match aromas abound on the nose with hints of pear, melon and limeskin. This wine has a rich and full palate with salivating acidity which is balanced by the concentrated fruit. The palate is very long and the overall wine intense yet well balanced. The concentrated fruit and acid balance will allow a long bottle development; drinking well for up to 8-10 years.