The growing season, summer 2011-2012 was very cloudy for Nelson, with many records broken. It was the wettest summer on record, and an almighty rain event in December combined with cool temperatures made for a worrying time going into harvest. Would we get enough warm weather in Autumn that we needed to fully ripen our grapes? To our great relief April was characterized by frequent highs resulting in very dry
and sunny conditions. April sunshine hours being the highest on record for our region and fantastic afternoon maximum temperatures meant full ripeness was at last achieved. Three separate fruit parcels were chosen for their different characters, all coming off the stony alluvial soils of the Waimea Plains. The grapes were picked on the 22nd of April at between 23 and 24 Brix.
The Chardonnay grapes used to make this wine were B95, CL15, and 2/23 which contributed both bright citrus as well as stone-fruit characters. After gentle pressing the juice was briefly settled to remove some of the grape solids. It was then racked to a mix of seasoned and new French oak barrels, and then inoculated with a variety of specialty yeast strains to provide an array of aromatic and fermentation characters.
Following primary ferment, lees stirring was carried out throughout the winter and spring to enhance palate-weight and texture. Malolactic fermentation followed as the barrels warmed up over late spring and early summer, then after ten months maturation, the wine was blended, filtered, and finished for bottling in March 2013.
This barrel fermented chardonnay has jasmine, white peach and pineapple characters, which are inviting on the nose and will reward the palate. A mineral thread gives texture and finesse and will ensure longevity in the cellar. Partner with white meat dishes, creamy pasta or hard cheeses. Will reward cellaring for three to five years.
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Res Sugar: 2.3g/L
Wine Orbit *****
It's powerful and opulent on the nose displaying yellow peach, mango, citrus and vanillin oak characters. The palate is concentrated and weighty, yet beautifully balanced by the acidity, leaving the palate refreshed. A sumptuous, creamy chardonnay with loads of appealing flavours.
Raymond Chan *****
Clone 95, 15 and 2/23 fruit from three sites on the Waimea Plains, fully barrel-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in new and seasoned French oak undergoing batonnage and MLF. Bright straw-yellow colour with light green-gold hues. This has a soft and rich nose with concentrated aromas of ripe citrus fruits, savoury yellow stonefruits and subtle layers of creamy, nutty, buttery barrel-ferment elements intermixed with toast and flinty complexities. Full-bodied, with a concentrated core of ripe citrus and stonefruit flavours, the palate has richness and gentle waves of flavour that unfold, revealing toast, nuts and flint. The mouthfeel is smooth and lush, with creamy barrel-ferment textures, balanced by fine lacy acidity. A little alcohol warmth is present adding a roundness to the sustained and lingering, spicy, oaky finish. This is a concentrated Chardonnay with layers of complex flavours and a gently creamy textured palate. Match with roast pork over the next 4-5 years. At its best: now to 2016