Our Chardonnay fruit was harvested in the early hours of the morning, loaded into the press cold, and gently separated from its skins. The very slightly cloudy juice was cold settled for a day and then racked. Fermentation took place in French Oak barriques, 35% of which were new. Approximately 33% of the barrels were allowed to undergo Malolactic fermentation to aid in softening acidity and to introduce an additional textural component. The wine was then left to mature in barrel on its lees for 10 months, with bâttonage occurring every 2 weeks. It received a light fining prior to filtration and bottling.
Our Chardonnay vines are planted north-south, thus benefitting from even sunlight and warmth on either side of the canopy throughout the growing season. Meticulous canopy management with multiple passes to arrange and manipulate shoots and leaves, helps achieve our ultimate goal of dappled light, yielding the perfect balance of intense fruit flavours; fine texture; and structural natural acidity. The fruit is then covered with bird netting through to harvest.
The 2017 vintage in Margaret River was supremely challenging yet ultimately rewarding. Spring was slow and cool, Summer was moderate with no heat spikes, and wet weather persisted throughout March, which led to much slower ripening and extended hang times. The season ended three weeks later than the average harvest time, significantly increasing the risks of disease in pockets of the region. The ‘Indian Summer’ at the end of the long season resulted for those that had held their nerve, in good tannin structure at much lower sugar levels compared with past vintages, and beautiful fruit perfumes.