2022 Henry Road Chardonnay
Our Chardonnay has been hand made starting with handpicking in the vineyard right through to stirring barrels every few weeks for 8 months to assist with flavour and texture development.
The grapes are handpicked when the sugar level is around 12.5 to 13 baume and the grape flavours are in the riper spectrum of white nectarine and yellow peach, but still retain some pink grapefruit and ripe lemon flavours.
After chilling overnight, the chardonnay grapes are then whole bunch pressed the next day. Our winemaking philosophy is to handle our white juices gently, with minimal additions and no fining, so the cloudy juice is transferred straight from the press into French oak barrels for fermentation. The barrels are a mix of new and used French oak.
After fermentation, the wine remains in the barrels in contact with the yeast lees for 11 months to produce a textured, more complex wine with a creamier mouthfeel and a long lingering finish. To assist this flavour development process, the yeast lees are mixed up into the wine every fortnight for the first 3 months, then monthly for the next 6 months. The barrel portions are blended, then filtered prior to bottling.
Pale to medium straw in colour with a pale fresh green hue. Aromas of white pear, pink grapefruit, fig and sweet lemon, mixed with subtle nutty, toasty cashew and pine nut, and vanilla coming from the barrel fermentation and maturation on yeast lees. The palate is smooth and balanced, with a flinty-mineral like acidity and lingering fruit flavours of pear, white nectarine and peach.
Being in the Margaret River region, winemakers here are passionate about Chardonnay and we’re no exception. Our Chardonnay may have been fermented and matured in oak barrels for 11 months, but it’s vibrantly fresh and flavoursome, with an amazingly soft and velvety texture.
Vintage in the Margaret River region was tracking to be an earlier start due the warm and dry spring weather which continued on into Summer until a tropical rain event in mid January which delayed harvest slightly of the Chardonnay. Chardonnay from 2015 are quite exceptional with their high natural acidity levels, and intensity of flavours.
The grapes are grown in the Clairault Vineyard located on Henry Road in the Wilyabrup sub region of the Margaret River Wine Region. The vineyard is at an elevation of 120 metres above sea level. The vines are planted in gravelly iron-stone sandy loam soils and the cool maritime winds coming off the Indian Ocean to the west during summer, give rise to wines of intensity and finesse.
Similar to our own vineyard management philosophy, Clairault manage their vineyard following biological sustainable farming practices, using a minimal spray application programme to prevent disease without the use of pesticides. Undervine grasses and flowering plants are retained throughout the year, providing habitats that encourage predatory insects and insect diversity throughout the vineyard
Potato, pumpkin, squash, pineapple sage, turnips, thyme, mustard, tarragon, corn, sage, lemon, quince, vanilla, pink grapefruit, yellow peach, white nectarine, rockmelon, honeydew melon, fig, marjoram
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