2017 Clairault Margaret River Chardonnay
The nature of the 2016 to 2017 vintage is reminiscent of the 2009 growing season, because the amount of accumulated warmth up until early new year was remarkably similar. January temperatures were similar to historical data for the area, in contrast, February and March were a fraction cooler. Those who risked all by waiting for the Indian Summer, were rewarded with tannin ripeness and the retention of the most beautiful fruit perfumes at relatively low sugar levels. The 2017 vintage highlighted the importance of best practice vineyard management, focusing on the basics of open and well solarised canopies, with balanced crop loads, so that the fruit could ripen at a reasonable pace.
The fruit for our Chardonnay is harvested and pressed as both whole cluster and cold crushed fruit, in order to sculpt wines boasting great length, texture and sophistication, as well as density of fruit and a bold complex palate. The juice is settled cold and racked, harvesting the lightest and most delicate grape solids to further aid in textural and aromatic development. The juice is barrel fermented in mix of new, second and third-fill French oak barriques. A portion of wine undergoes malolactic fermentation to broaden the palate and add additional complexity. The rest is sulphured pre-malolactic fermentation, in order to preserve fresh fruit aromatics and pure acidity. It is then aged in oak for 9 months and battonaged every two weeks, after which the wine is removed from barrel, clarified and bottled.
This Chardonnay is tinted pale green with yellow hints. The aromas are fresh and vibrant, consisting of peaches, cream, nutmeg and crushed lime. The palate has a balanced entry of dense stone fruit and lively citrus flavours. Coating acidity and fine texture lead to a finish of nectarines, toasted nuts and lemon curd.
New release - not yet entered.
Up to 8 years, however we enjoy it for freshness now.