About This Wine
From Punt Road’s three old blocks of Chardonnay (planted 1987 to 1992, all I10V1). Harvested quickly, but picked ripe, so it has freshness and flavour. When the team started picking the grapes were in the citrus spectrum, then moved into white peach. The must was wild-fermented in French oak puncheons. 60% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation. The lees were stirred monthly. The wine was racked from oak in September.
For the Yarra Chardonnay connoisseur there is some flint, funk and lime pith, while the general Chardonnay lover there is oak, some creamy and lees notes, and stone fruit flesh. All in a savoury, fresh package.
Here's the winemaker's notes:
"This year, I've concentrated more on building flavour. We were just lucky that the vintage ensured freshness and acid line anyway. The wine is purely off the old blocks of the Napoleone vineyard, planted between 1987 and 2001. I10V1 clone. A lot of work has been done in the vineyard to improve canopy structure and density, and getting crop levels back. This gives longer ripening, fresher fruit flavour and more intensity. We picked a touch riper, and did natural ferment in puncheons with full solids (15% new). I messed around with a portion of crushing to the press this year, mostly to build flavour. We pressed harder as well. Then we did the most malo we’ve done, at least 60%, though it could be more. Very clean malo though – building texture without popcorn. The I10V1 clone of Chardonnay needs that extra element to show savouriness. We also stirred lees more than normal. The resulting wine seems to have all the right elements. Freshness, but with weight. Flint and citrus, but stonefruit on the back palate. Long!" - Tim Shand, Punt Road
Yarra Valley Wine
The Yarra Valley wine region is the most important area of wine production in Victoria today, and with its proximity to Melbourne, also the most visited in the state.
Yarra Valley is split into the Upper Yarra and the valley floor. The Upper Yarra is cooler in climate due to its elevation and coupled with younger, fertile, red soils produces most of the region’s notable varietals: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The valley floor is warmer and has predominantly grey soils with pockets of granite and limestone.
Pinot noir has long been considered a notoriously difficult variety to grow. However, the cool climate and longer growing seasons of the Yarra Valley allow the fruit to develop full flavoured and ripe character.
Chardonnay in the past has long been associated with a deep oily, buttery style that experiences full malolactic fermentation and great amounts of oak. This style has since fallen out of favour and wine makers in the Yarra Valley have capitalized on this trend to produce leaner, acid driven Chardonnays that are closer in style to those from Burgundy.
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