Barrique Fermented Chardonnay 2018

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I hear so much BS about Chardonnay I hardly know which way to turn. Since when did everybody become such an expert on the variety? When discussing Riesling they don’t say “Oh I only like the citrusy ones”, or Pinot Noir “Nah, too plummy for me…”. Most wines live or die by their innate quality and typicity of variety. With Chardonnay however, some folks only drink “oaky” ones, some “buttery”, some “fruity” and others “broad and complex”. Open your minds people and enjoy them for what they are and while you are at it, spare a thought for the humble winemaker who is just trying to bring out the best from the fruit they have grown.

 

The wine is unusually leggy, defying its slick oily surface to climb almost right out of the glass. I’m no scientist but this phenomenon may well be the indirect result of battonage, the regular stirring during barrel aging which causes the creamy yeast lees to fluff up then slowly settle back down through the wine. Unctuous from the outset, this wine struts and frets its hour upon the stage, resplendent in a glowing hue of majestic gold. The nose is a melee of complexity with bold grapefruit, crushed almond, warm pecan pie, a little fresh brie and a pineapple overtone, often thought to be the hallmark of Martinborough Chardonnay. Also rising are notes of sweet furry peach, an impressive floral pungency; primula perhaps or Brave Blossom, then mealy biscuit characters and a hint of sea-grass matting. “Now she breaths on me and I’m so full of fire”.

 

Like a girl with no name dancing with her smallsword “needle”, the palate has a sandy grit and zippered acidity which sticks to the plump chewy fruit like a velcro strip. The warm glow of aged French oak peeps through, silhouetting darker and more baleful flavours of peach schnapps and beef tartare with ginger drizzle. The wine delivers a whole meal as butternut and play dough tip toe across the tongue before the restrained citrus edge corrals the wine to a refined finish like a wicker basket full of lemons.

Technical Information

Harvest Date               26 Mar 2018                            Residual Sugar            Nil

Brix at Harvest            22.5                                         Bottling Date              11 Mar 2019

Final Alcohol              13.0 %                                     Release Date               1 Oct 2019

pH                               3.03                                         Cellaring                      2 – 6 years

Total Acid                    6.37g/l

 

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