Calgardup Brook Chardonnay 2010
Complex aromas of guava and fig with a squeeze of strawberry. White peach and feijoa are subtle on the palate but make her all the more attractive. A dusting of new French oak puts cinnamon on a pie crust that's layered with kiwifruit meringue on a lemon curd. There's almond meal with a touch of lime peel garnishing; this is a sweet but sharp tasting wine. Underneath all this there is a minerality and purity from natural ferment that suggests she carries a whip.
Ryan Walsh, Winemaker
With El Nino has come a progressively reduced rainfall. Spring has been a little wetter and summer has had more temperature extremes. In 2009 spring was again wet and blustery and shaping to be something like 2008. But a heat spike in January 2010 with a week of 35 degree+ brought whites into line quickly and within an instant they were coming off earlier than average. Reds drew out as things cooled off heading into March. Patience to get tannin ripeness in reds proved dividends though an early break to the season with rainfall had us on the edge of our seats.
Fruit is sourced exclusively from the Calgardup Brook vineyard in the south of the Margaret River region. The Calgardup is a westerly flowing stream; hence the site is open to the sea breezes that have a significant influence on the vineyards of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge, the hills that connect the two Capes on the south and north of the region. Soils are deep, loamy gravels typical of valley bottoms and idealfor chardonnay which does best in moderately fertile and well protected sites. Allvines on the McHenry Hohnen vineyards are grown on a single bilateral cordon with a vertically trained canopy. It is a simple and practical format that maximises light penetration and maintains a balanced wine.
Hand picking and whole bunch pressing proceeds to a primary fermentation, induced by the grapes' natural yeasts. The complex and intriguing characters derived from these natural yeasts are enhanced by ageing the wine in contact with the spent yeast cells. Fermentation is conducted in older barrels and the wine remains undisturbed, in the barrels, until it is bottled.
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