Beginning as a cool growing season, 2016 entered a very warm spell as the harvest began in early September. Each year, we commit our Chardonnay parcels to our traditional method sparkling program, with no cluster to spare. However, the warmth of 2016 indicated good potential to reach higher maturity levels and so, our best and oldest Chardonnay block in the estate vineyard, with incredibly small yields usually committed to our Brut Reserve, was earmarked for a very limited and unique still wine.
A late pick at the end of October delivered the fruit with the desired maturity of skins and seeds. In keeping with our sensibilities, the certified organic grapes were treated with the utmost respect of their living qualities. No sulphites were added at any stage, in order to help the wine build a natural resistance to oxidation, a two-day pellicular maceration (skin contact) occurred, also creating a great structure. After a wild fermentation in two-year-old French barrel and, a malolactic fermentation, the wine was bottled by gravity only. The ultimate example of hand craftsmanship, this wine had no contact with mechanical or electrical equipment from fruit to bottle.
In the glass, a deep golden colour with a straw hue. On the nose, rich notes of smoked cedar and lemon rind are complicated by mineral accents and a touch of nuttiness. The palate is unctuous and creamy, with suggestions of cloverleaf honey and baked apples, interlaced with fresh citrus undertones. The finish is enduring, revealing the wine’s substantial structure and intensity.
Varietal composition: 100% Chardonnay
TA: 7.2 g/L
R/S: 0 g/L
Brix (average at harvest): 19.75º
Recommended drinking: 2018-2020
Bottles produced: 250