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2018 Chardonnay

2018 Chardonnay
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“The purest expression of the fruit with minimal intervention from the winemaking team”

Margaret River has established an international reputation for exceptional Chardonnay. The Cape Mentelle style draws inspiration from traditional methods to deliver a wine displaying aromatic complexity and a finely textured palate with a long, clean finish.

Golden hay with a hint of fresh green
This youthful wine is powerful and complex displaying ripe pineapple, poached apple, frangipane and fresh cream aromas, with a honeyed richness highlighted by oak notes of fresh cedar and toasted hazelnuts. As the wine opens up, hints of vanilla bean, wet pebble, stone fruit and buttered popcorn emanate beautifully
The palate is smothered with round ripe flavours of Fuji apple, dried mango, and wild rice pudding that is both creamy and unctuous. A complex array of fresh cashew, lemon peel, raw macadamia and nectarine notes flesh out this texturally expansive wine to complete this captivating expression of Margaret River chardonnay
Chardonnay 100%
Whilst this wine presents beautifully now it has the potential to age up to 15 years
Food Pairing Notes
The winemakers recommend pairing the richness and power of this wine with a lime/chilli infused ceviche of king fish and pickled jalapenos, or with a simple fresh water crayfish grilled on the barbecue with a drizzle of lemon juice. Grilled vegetables served with a spicy satay sauce matches very well to the wine’s citrus creaminess
The Vineyard
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
The Season
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

Wine Companion

Erin Larkin

A mix of 4 clones; Gin Gin, 76, 95 and 5. Hand picked, whole-bunch pressed, wild ferment in barrel. A very sophisticated nose, textural, worked and complex. The fruit has a rich, ripe viscosity to it and a fierce salty edge. Red apple skins and tea leaves, salted kelp, slippery ripe yellow peach and a fair whack of curry leaf, brine and preserved lemon. This is happening. A subtle shift in style here, more multifaceted and shimmering, always moving, like dappled sunlight. The best chardonnay under this label to date.


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Licensee: Cape Mentelle Vineyards Ltd.
License number: 6180025494. Type of License: Producer's License