2018 Clairault Estate Chardonnay
67% Bridgeland Block, Karridale
33% Clairault Vineyard, Wilyabrup
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 a combination of old and new 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 before bottling.
After an unseasonable dry early Winter, late rains in August and September came to the rescue. Significant rain events persisted through to mid-October, with conditions fining up through the flowering period enabling successful flowering and fruit set. Harvest began on the 27th January, in line with the earliest picking dates on record, trailing out until completion on the 13th April.
Lime juice, crushed granite, white pear and jasmine, underscored with hints of flint, green apple and lanolin.
Pure, tense and focused. Pear flesh, zest and porcelain-like tannin drive forward a message of serenity and true fruit expression. A lattice of fine French oak, granite and grapefruit pith serve as a platform for an unyielding finish of white flowers, lemon curd and hints of gun-smoke.
Enjoyed for its freshness now, or cellar up to 8 years for further complexity.
93/100 - James Halliday Wine Companion
93/100 - Ray Jordan WA Wine Guide