Fruit is sourced exclusively from Cape Mentelle's two Southern vineyards, Chapman Brook and Crossroads. The Chardonnay is mostly single cane-pruned, with the exception of a few older spur patches remaining, and all vertical shoot positioned producing an upright, open canopy. The majority of these vineyards are planted to the Gin Gin selection of Chardonnay along with classic Burgundian clones 95 and 76.
After a dry winter, Margaret River experienced a moderately warm summer, punctuated by unusual rainfalls in the second half of January which delayed the first harvests by about 10 days. The moderate day and low night temperatures allowed exceptional preservation of the varietal white aromas and a long harvest period to pick each small batch of fruit in the most perfect conditions. As a result, our Chardonnay retained its supportive acidity while developing beautifully ripe fruit flavours and a rich texture.
Our Chardonnay is harvested by hand in one-layer 6.5 Kg crates that allow the fruit to be gently transported to the winery. The fruit is then elevated into our membrane press for pressing directly to oak barrels of which approximately one third are new. Wild fermentation is left to happen with some malolactic fermentation taking place also as the wine is held unracked and unsulfured in barrels for ten to eleven months. Racking and blending happens at the last minute before bottling, in January just before the arrival of the next harvest.
14.0% alcohol, 7.0 g/l total acidity, 3.25 pH
Whole-bunch pressed to French barrels for wild fermentation and a lengthy sojourn. Full-on green-gold; it's exceptionally intense and concentrated, with all manner of stone fruits and a savoury gauze of grapefruit juice and zest. The acidity is important now, and will be so later. Striking.