Since European settlement in the 1840's, olive trees have thrived in McLaren Vale. They are alongside roads, in gardens and occasionally, in the middle of our Chardonnay vineyards blocking our harvester!
Average Winter rainfall followed by a dry, warm Spring ensured that the vines set well, leading to relatively large crop loads. The 2016 Vintage started a few days earlier than ever before due to the dry conditions, but relieving rains arrived in late January/early February, reducing stress for the final stages of ripening. Mild to warm February and March conditions were ideal, slowing sugar accumulation and allowing full flavours to develop. The earlier harvested fruit achieved fruit ripeness at relatively low Baumes due to the rain event. These wines are bright, spicy and vibrant with a lovely long acid and elegance. As vintage progressed the concentration grew and the colour intensified, resulting in more weighty wines without overripe characters.
Small batches of grapes are gently crushed, chilled, and then basket pressed. To add complexity and mouthfeel the wine is fermented and matured in a mixture of French and American oak for seven months.
A lovely modern style of Chardonnay, showing great balance between crisp, savoury fruit and subtle integrated oak. The bouquet displays an attractive array of nectarine, Granny Smith, vanilla, spice and mildly roasted nuts. The palate has an initial hit of creaminess, quite strong in stone fruit and white flowers. Mid palate reverts to a more streamlined shape as seaspray and nutty nuances emerge. Finally, the finish is long and dry, with just a whisper of those vanilla notes first spotted on the nose. Quite refined in youth, this wine will gently cede to more generosity and juiciness with a year or two of age.
Crowd-rated 4/5 stars on Vivino.