2015 Streicker Ironstone Block Chardonnay
Quality as usual, was high, however yields were down across the region. Since early March a more autumn weather pattern came into being and with the passing of the low weather pattern that was Cyclone Olwyn the region experienced some rain with cooler night time temperatures. This has effectively extended the ripening period for red wine varieties quite nicely giving them more 'hang time' to enhance fruit development and flavour profiles with softer tannin levels arising as a consequence.
The fruit for the Ironstone Chardonnay is hand-picked from the Ironstone Vineyard in the heart of Wilyabrup. The fruit is chilled and whole-cluster pressed to retain freshness and cultivate texture and structure. The juice is settled cold and racked after 2 days, harvesting only the lightest and most delicate grape solids to further aid in textural and aromatic development. The juice is barrel fermented in 40% new, 30% 2nd fill and 30% 3rd fill French oak barriques. 66% of the barrels are sulphured pre-malolactic fermentation, in order to further preserve fresh fruit aromatics and pure acidity. The other 33% are allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation, developing both richer, bolder aromatics and textural elements. It is then aged in oak for 9 months and battonaged every two weeks to develop texture and additional palate complexity, after which the wine is removed from barrel, clarified and bottled.
This Chardonnay is tinted green with yellow tones. The aromas are of rich baked nectarine, honeyed nuts and peanut brittle, all balanced with citrus blossom and crisp red apple hints. A viscout fruit entry to the palate also shows toasty French oak and vibrant stone fruit acidity. It finishes with a slatey poise and yet more citrus flavours.
94/100 - Ray Jordan's WA Wine Guide
This is a fresh drink now style, but can be aged for up to 10 years for added complexity.