2020 Clairault Estate Chardonnay
Bridgeland Block, Karridale
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.
The 2020 vintage was unforgettable. The region experienced a perfect growing season with warmer than average spring temperatures and ideal summer conditions. Little to no rain, low disease risk and timely flowering of the Marri trees to distract the birds, eased pressure in the vineyard. The relative ease of vintage was in stark contrast to the happenings of the world at the time, with ferocious bushfires ravaging the East Coast and the Covid-19 outbreak unravelling. Yields were down in 2020 resulting in exceptional fruit concentration.
White flowers, pear flesh, untoasted cashew and subtle hints of grapefruit 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.
95/100 - James Halliday Wine Companion 2023
93/100 - The West Australian Wine Guide 2023
92 Points - James Suckling, 2023