2016 Clairault Estate Chardonnay
The 2015 to 2016 vintage season in Margaret River was generally warm and dry up to the third week in January 2016. The relatively dry winter combined with a warmer growing season corresponded to vines achieving good shoot lengths and making the transition from vegetative growth to fruiting growth a little earlier than normal; a great feature for fruit quality. Our dry growing season was quenched on 19th March, 2016 with 50 mm of rain, enough to wash the dust of the vine leaves, top up the dry soil profiles and carry the vines through to full ripeness. The resulting wines are fragrant with succulent natural acidities, lovely textures and intense aromatic lift.
The fruit for our Estate Chardonnay is selected from our best blocks of fruit and hand-picked. 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. The wine is sulphured pre-malolactic fermentation, in order to further preserve fresh fruit aromatics and pure acidity. 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.
A pale green chardonnay with mother of pearl flecks and a fragrant white pear, jasmine flower and subtle brioche and wet granite bouquet. The palate has an oyster shell and white pear medley of texture and flavour, honed to a delicate yet firm core of structured oak and fruit. The palate is laced with unyielding purity, letting its grip go only towards the end to allow for a hint of nectarine generosity and lift on an otherwise mineral finish.
96/100 - James Halliday Wine Companion
Up to 10 years, however we enjoy it for freshness now.