2020 Clairault Margaret River Chardonnay
45% Bridgeland Vineyard, Karridale
42% Ironstone Vineyard, Wilyabrup
13% Clairault Vineyard, Wilyabrup
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 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 roughly 40% new, 30% 2nd fill and 30% 3rd fill French oak barriques. A portion of wine is allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation, to broaden the palate and add additional complexity to both the aromatics and the texture of the wine. The rest 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.
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.
Fresh pear flesh, lemon zest, jasmine and creamy notes laced with cinnamon and cashews.
Stone fruit, spice and brioche on the entry, guided by crisp natural acid and foundational fine tannin and pure fruit flavour. Persistent, rich and poised, the finish is utterly mineral, quenching and long.
Up to 8 years, however we enjoy it for freshness now.
91/100 - James Halliday Wine Companion 2023
91/100 - Margaret River Wine Show 2021