Showing alpine-elegance at its best, this Chardonnay is bright and flinty. Its nucleus is a concentrated core of crunchy white peach, white fig, and fine melon, tightly wound and central. Around this, the aromas are classic to Tumbarumba, showing as beautiful, elemental aromas of flint, river-stone, and slate. This wine is all about delicacy, and gentle barrel fermenting has infused subtle layers of velvety mid-palate softness. Cool-climate acidity come into play with racy freshness, finishing on the palate with fine focus.
Chardonnays of this fine nature will age beautifully, building a cashew-like creaminess over the next few years in the bottle, with best drinking after 5 years in the cellar.
The Gairn Family vineyard, established in 1992, sits in the foothills outside Tumbarumba in the Southern alpine region of NSW. This vineyard is 86km north of the summit of Mount Kosciusko, at an altitude of 750m; the soils are a clay loam over deep red granite, row orientation is East West. A cool, wet January dissipated in the warm, dry spell that followed towards March.Grapes tended to gain sugar quickly, and hand-harvesting happened in a rush across the whole district.Hand picking on the 23rd February, with good bunch condition.
This vineyard climate is very cool and continental, assuring the vines a long ripening period that builds flavour slowly, keeping a racy balance of natural acidity. Pristine fruit brightness is maximised, to highlight the extra elemental/wet-stone/slate-like “terroir” characters. We crush, chill, and press the fruit at our winery in Pokolbin; the mixture of juice and grape-solids transfers to new and one year old barrels, where some undergo wild-ferment using the indigenous yeasts, and the balance are inoculated with pure cultured yeasts. At the completion of this “primary” fermentation, approximately one in three barrels are selected for malo-ferments. After two weeks, all barrels are completely filled and sealed, and the wine “sits” on yeast lees for four months, with occasional “batonage” to lift and mix the creamy lees. This is a wine of minimal intervention with natural fruit brightness.
This Individual Vineyard Chardonnay comes from the cold climate region of Tumbarumba.