Our Black Label Chardonnay is only made in exceptional vintages, utilising the best fruit of the vintage to create an elegant wine that is fine-boned, subtle and restrained. It is made to be delicate and pretty, held by a persistent spine of acid in its youth. Whilst approachable young, it should slowly unravel with time to reveal even greater depth and complexity.
The best 3 barrels of the 2018 vintage. In 2018, crop and bunch sizes were very small which resulted in intensely concentrated fruit. Care needed to be taken therefore to reduce skin contact & phenolic uptake at the press. Very low extraction rates of wine were made. Given the warmer vintage, the 2018 Black Label Chardonnay is more in the white/yellow peach flavour spectrum than usual with a bolder midpalate & fruit weight. Barrels were selected to maintain acid drive & an extra bit of finesse compared to the 2018 Chardonnay. Citrus notes persist. A wine that should age beautifully and one to suit lovers of full-blown Chardonnay.
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On the nose there’s jasmine & peach with some creamed honey on toast. A hint of gun smoke. Kaffir limes pokes through occasionally as does a whiff of fennel.
The palate is taught, fine & intricately layered with stone fruit & toasted brioche. Texture is key – it is in abundance, all grainy, chewy & savoury. There’s almost a salty character, like a soft brine in shellfish. It’s ever evolving & revealing new flavours with each sip.
Fruit averaged from 900m above sea level.
3 x separate picks in March 2018.
All handpicked into 10kg picking baskets.
Fruit chilled overnight then whole bunch pressed.
Racked to barrel with full solids.
Wild yeast ferment in 225L barriques (33% new French oak)
A lower pressings component than the 2018 Chardonnay.
Full natural malolactic fermentation.
Lees stirred fortnightly for 3 months then monthly after.
12 months maturation.
Racked & blended March 2019.
Settled in tank for a 2nd Winter.
Unfined, lightly filtered.
Bottled October 2019
“Yellow and vibrant colour from centre to rim. Caramel and cashews, the faintest tease of oyster-shell. Oak is classy. Artifice wrestling with fruit. A deft hand at play. Citrus tang grows in this as it warms in the glass. Complex and compelling”.
93 points. Nick Butler – The Real Review