The aim for this Chardonnay is to retain a fresh structure rather than producing a wine that is too broad.
We therefore minimise the malolactic fermentation so that it is really the vineyard, fruit, wild-ferment and barrel characters that make up the complex nose and palate.
This wine comes from a small parcel in the Twin Valleys Vineyard, located in the Fareham Lane area of Marlborough. The vineyard is at the western end of the Wairau Valley, on the junction with the Waihopai Valley. The influence of the constant river flow has resulted in the silt being washed away and the soils remaining both rocky and devigourated.
Being some distance from the sea the climate is also cooler. The grapes therefore typically ripen more slowly and retain an interesting mineral character.
The vines are all from the favoured Clone 95 which we have found suits this area as the fruit comes in with good acid balance which we endeavour to retain. The vines were cropped low to ensure ripeness and palate richness.
The vines were cropped low to ensure ripeness and palate richness. In the winery the grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the high-solids juice taken straight to French barriques for fermentation with indigenous yeast. After 15 months in oak we felt the balance was correct and took the wine from barrel. It was then aged further in tank on yeast lees prior to being racked and gently fined before bottling.
||Brian Bicknell, Pat Patterson, our focussed growers and brilliant vintage staff
|Brix at harvest:
||20.9 - 22.6
||Handpicked, 29th March to 13th April 2016