Our two chardonnay vineyards (Chapman Brook and Crossroads) are planted in the cooler southern reaches of Margaret River with more maritime influence and sandy clay loams with some rocky gravels creating fine minerality. They are planted to the Gin Gin selection along with classic Burgundian clones 76 and 95 and one patch of Californian clone 5. The leaf canopy is opened early and extensively, with thinning by hand on both sides, fully exposing berries for even ripening. Cool nights preserve the inherent freshness. As each block has a very different personality, picking is purely decided by taste
A typical mildly wet Margaret River winter helped top up soil moisture levels giving way to a temperate growing season with low rainfall and plenty of sunshine. Sporadic rain events continued into the harvest period which, coupled with moderate temperatures, minimised vine stress yet maximised fruit quality. A perfect year for our dry-grown vines with excellent ripening conditions ensuring great sugar levels with racy and intense flavours
The fruit is 100% hand-picked into small baskets with a capacity of only 6.5kg to ensure it arrives in pristine condition. Gin Gin clone fruit from our Chapman Brook vineyard block 17 was the first to be picked in early March, with the very last pick coming from our Crossroads Vineyard Burgundy clones 95 & 76 on April 1. After gentle whole-bunch pressing, the juice goes straight to barrels, with all the solids remaining. We use Burgundian oak exclusively, one third being new. The 100% wild ferment is left to happen naturally with some malolactic fermentation encouraged. The wine was bottled over two days in mid-January, just before the start of the following harvest
14.5% alcohol, 6.2 g/l total acidity, 3.29 pH
The West Australian
There is an engaging mix of the old and the new here. It's a more robust and full-bodied chardonnay with lots of candied fruit, butterscotch and crème brulee, but there is also a degree of delicacy and restraint with fine persistence. The palate is layered with roasted nuttiness and some warmed morning brioche.