Vibrant straw yellow green colour in the glass, this West Australian Ice Pressed Chardonnay has all the hallmarks of a great dessert wine. This wine has an array of aromas, banana bread, honeycomb and apricot nectar, marzipan and almond paste - quite a heady mix!
This wine is richer than it’s predecessors and more intensely flavoured and still has a whip of lime sorbet acidity to nicely balance the high sugar content of the wine. There are flavours of lime and apricot and juicy pears with hints of almond paste and vanilla. It is concentrated and slippery with a viscous mouth coating texture with a little oak tannin to clean up the finish.
A good amount of rainfall over winter (May – September) set up the soil moistures and filled the dams full for the upcoming 2018 vintage. The temperatures during Spring were right bang in the middle of our decade averages and the benign weather over Spring was ideal for flowering, so crop set was high for the second year in a row. The Red Gum blossom was also the best we’ve ever seen so the Silvereye bird damage was the least we’ve seen! We still applied bird nets to play it safe though. There were 3 main rain events during the growing season but none too worrying. The February temperatures were among the coolest, but then in the first 2 weeks of March we had 5 days above 30 º C. Overall during the ripening period for grapes the average over Jan-April was lower temperature than average with no noticeable heat spikes making for grapes with lovely fragrance, higher acidities and higher sugar levels than normal.
Once hand harvested the fruit was transferred in small slotted bins directly to a chiller room and chilled to -16°C over 5 nights. The bunches were gently whole bunch pressed to around 329L/tonne, this allowed us to only extract the juice from the fleshy interior of the berries and not the juice next to the skin, thereby minimising phenolic (tannic) pick up and resulting in a juice with exquisite seamless structure. The sugar level of the whole bunch grapes coming out of the press increased to 1 ½ times the sugar found naturally in the grapes as the ice (or water) remained in the press and only the concentrated sugar solution came out into the press tray. The very sweet chardonnay juice was then pumped to a stainless steel tank with one to one ratio height to width, where it was chilled and settled for 24 hours without enzymes before gravity flow to two new French barriques, two one year old French barriques and one stainless steel barrique. Fermentation was initiated by wild yeast (indigenous yeasts found in the vineyard) the barrels were transferred to the cool room for fermentation and the temperature was kept below 20°C to retain primary fruit characters. The wine spent 4 months in barrel before being blended and bottled.