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The grapes were whole bunch pressed and the juice was settled after pressing for 48 hours, pumped into stainless steel tanks with 2% solids, then seeded for fermentation. Battonage (lees stirring) was carried out daily through primary ferment and weekly through malolactic fermentation. The wine was then transferred to 100% new French oak barrels, for 9 months maturation. The wine was bottled on 5 December 2005 and released on 27 February 2006.
Colour and condition: light to medium straw colour in bright condition.
Nose: intense primary fruit aromas of peach and melon, with honeysuckle and orange blossom fragrances and integrated, slightly charry oak. There is additional honey and caramel-like complexity from malolactic fermentation.
Palate: distinct melon fruit flavours, with some lemon/lime citrus notes, delicate texture and medium length. Structure is well balanced, with acidity providing lift to the citrus fruit notes but not dominating and oak and grape tannins that provide a long finish without bitterness. The oak flavours of vanilla and toast further underpin the length.
Cellaring: since this is the first Chardonnay wine from the vineyard, some conservatism is important. However, the wine has excellent composition and good flavours, suggesting that it will benefit from further aging, and can be cellared for at least 5 years.
Continuing our dedication to quality it was decided that the whole vintage would be put under screwcap closures.
The risk of cork taint has been a constant concern for wine producers. With the use of screwcaps this risk is eliminated while the quality of the wine is preserved and the natural maturing process is unaffected. Recent research* has confirmed that oxygen is not a vital component for the ongoing evolution and maturation of red wines after bottling.
From our own experience as consumers we hate corked wine!
* "The Role of Oxygen in the Aging of Bottled Wine" Hart & Kleinig, 2005