Harvest Date: 16 April
Fermentation: 100% in barriques
Oak: New & 1 fill French oak
Titratable Acidity: 7.9g/L
Quarter of a century old Mendoza clone Chardonnay vines on their own roots have yielded minimal crops of intensely concentrated flavours and aromas.
This Chardonnay was made in an exceptional vintage for attaining concentration of flavours and intense structure. 2005 was characterised by high mid summer temperatures, extremely low yields (0.75 tons/acre) and settled weather over harvest. Gently pressed into tank the juice was unfined (100% solids) and allowed to undergo un-inoculated fermentation before being quickly transferred to all new and 1 year old French oak barrels when ferment started. The wine remained on yeast lees for 10 months without malolactic fermentation before being racked to tank in the New Year and splashed back to old oak with sulphur. Bottled prior to harvest 2006.
This wine exhibits aromas of grapefruit, peach and hazelnut framed by toasty savoury oak. On the palate the wine is rich and encompasses the entire width of the palate, clean citrus flavours complement a tight focussed acidity. Picked in excellent condition the wine has ripe flavours and high extract while retaining an alluring elegance of a wine with elevated acidity and no influence of malolactic fermentation.
This Waipara Chardonnay will cellar extremely well and will continue to reward patient cellaring with the confidence of screwcap. This Chardonnay is the first release of limited edition wines made only in exceptional years. 250 cases produced.
Gold Medal, Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013