The chardonnay is newly only single cane-pruned and all vertical shoot positioned producing an upright open canopy. Our 2 chardonnay vineyards (Chapman Brook and Crossroad) are planted to the Gin Gin selection along with classic Burgundian clones 95 and 76 and one patch of Californian clone 5. The canopy is extensively and early opened and thinned by hand on both sides, fully exposing berries for even ripening while our naturally cool nights preserve the natural acidity.
Following a beautiful and promising flowering, summer was mild and our vineyards were fully dry-grown. The cool nights and mild days provided the perfect growing conditions for delicate aromas and fine acid balance in whites. Harvest finally started at Cape Mentelle on February 28th, with generous yields, across all the vineyards in the Margaret River region.
As each block has a very different personality picking is only decided by taste. Harvest extends over a long period, from late February to mid-March. The fruit is 100% hand-picked into small 6.5kg baskets to ensure it arrives in pristine condition. After gentle whole-bunch pressing, the batches go straight to barrels, all solids remaining. We use exclusively French oak, with Burgundian barrel format, at about one third new. Wild fermentation is left to happen with some malolactic fermentation. The wine was bottled over two days in mid-January, just before the start of the following harvest.
14.5% alcohol, 7.2 g/l total acidity, 3.2pH