||21 years old
In a weather-challenged Vintage, cooler Summer temperatures prevailed with recurring showery conditions, so the ripening of fruit pre-harvest was slower than usual. As a result, there were uneven ripening conditions in almost every vineyard, with the requirement for selective hand picking in stages as blocks ripened. Further hand sorting happened before processing, ensuring quality, with clean and ripe fruit at the crusher.
Hand-picked over a 10 day period, 20th, 21st , 25th and 30th January, into slotted-bins, before chilling overnight to 5°C at the winery. After pre-chilling, all lots were destemmed, crushed, and pressed using a centre-membrane press. The juice was immediately transferred to oak for 100% barrel fermentation where a complex process of winemaking was used: an equal balance of wild-ferment and pure yeast inoculation, a taste-determined proportion of malo-fermentation, and bâtonnage (stirring the fine yeast lees in barrel) combining to generate beautiful, refined complexity and structure.
Elegant fruit aromas of white peach, pineapple, and nectarine swirl into a complex bouquet, with fine vanilla oak-spice in the background. Sustained characters of white stone fruit, honey-dew melon and fig give texture and balance onto a velvety long palate. The fine balance of barrel fermented “wild” and aromatic yeasts, plus the sur-lees time in barrel, entwine these core flavours with hints of cashew and cream, to create a wine with seamless harmony.
Food Match: Creamy pasta, hard & soft cheese, seafood
Balancing the flavours of oak and fruit beautifully, this Hunter Valley Chardonnay has been barrel-fermented and aged in fine French oak.