Chardonnay is one of the greatest grapes in the world. Certainly in our opinion one of the very best for showing terroir no matter where in the world it’s planted. Warm climate or cool, wet or dry it always has plenty to say about its place. And it seems that, like us, Chardonnay is extremely happy putting down roots in South Gippsland.
We love drinking Chardonnay from Chablis, Pouilly-Fuisse, Macon or the Jura. Wines that are linear and a little steely (any obvious oak quickly turns us off) with a touch of mid palate flesh. So this is the style we strive for in the Chardonnay we make, while allowing it to express its unique South Gippsland-ness.
We pick the grapes by hand when the berries are at their peak – beautifully ripe and full of flavour without having lost any of their crunch and with acids nice and high. From that point on everything we do is about maintaining the purity and vitality of the fruit. Working gently (no pumping, no additions, no fining or filtering), working clean and allowing the natural yeasts to do what they do best – build texture and mouthfeel.
This wine walks a tightrope. It’s neither overly angular nor too luscious – the fruit is linear and restrained. Not under ripe and not over ripe. It’s just ripe. There’s no obvious oak, yet it has its own creaminess from months on full ferment lees. But the focal point keeping it all in balance is the acidity. Despite full conversion from the sour Malic acid to the softer Lactic acid, it’s fresh and zingy.
This is virgin Chardonnay. Naked and untouched.