Our Black Label Chardonnay is only made in exceptional vintages, utilising the best fruit of the vintage to create and 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 2020/21 growing season was a fabulous year for Chardonnay. It was cool and long and with adequate rainfall – producing a crop with lovely phenolic ripeness, but with intense acidity and brightness. Yields were reduced due to the previous-season drought conditions, but the small quantities more than made up for it in quality! A vintage that will surely be considered as one of the best of the decade and one which has produced some long-lived wines. This wine is certainly no exception.
It is a selection of the best 5 barrels of the 2021 Vintage. Barrels were selected for their intensity of flavour, a strong acid drive and that little bit of finesse compared to the 2021 (Blue label) Chardonnay.
226 in stock
On the nose there’s lemon curd & melon with some roasted hazelnuts and nougat. A lovely floral note floats in and out. There’s a hint of gun smoke there too. Preserved lemon and the odd whiff of fennel.
The palate is taught, fine and intricately layered with citrus fruits and toasted brioche. Texture is central to the wine – it is an abundance, all grainy, chewy and savoury. There’s a lovely minerally character to the palate, like wet stone. Some structural wood tannin is embedded in there too but is balanced delicately by the intense weight of stone fruit and juicy lime.
– Fruit from 3 different sites ranging from 870-1000m above sea level
– 3 separate picks starting 10th March to 27th March 2021
– Handpicked into 10kg baskets
– Chilled overnight, lightly pressed. Free run & pressings separated
– Racked to barrels on full solids, approximately 33% new oak
– Wild yeast ferment in 225L barriques with regular battonage for the first 6 months
– Full natural malolactic fermentation
– Lees stirred monthly for 11 months
– Racked & blended February 2022 into stainless steel tank
– Naturally settled and then racked without fining or additions
– Lightly filtered pre-bottling March 2022
“Another awesome Chardonnay off the Orange production line. This Rikard Black Label 2021 is dripping in interest and class. I want it all.
The Black Label is a selection of the five best barrels only made in the best years. I could immerse myself in this. The freshness and complexity are what I’m here for. Dancy lemons and lemon juice delight throw the joy with brioche, lemon meringue, tart green apple and a delicate cashew nuttiness for good measure. A caramel drop complexity builds with time in the glass as does a fabulous textural component leaving tonic-like feels to ponder. A Chardonnay to savour and ponder, give me it all.” 95 points.
Steve Leszczynski for QWine