Carrick Bend Chardonnay - 2008
Central Victoria has seen a continuance of the drought over the vintages of 2004 2005 2006 2007 and 2008. Below average rains with mild conditions and a heat spike somewhere influenced the vines ability to present reliable yields. The fluctuations had 2004 & 2005 – A normal sized crop, 2006 15% below average, 2007 85% below average, 2008 50%.
An incredible hot spell right on picking put a stamp on the vintage unlike any previous year. March was hot from the start and to the finish. It became a vintage of two halves with good wines being picked before the heat and some very tired fruit after. Ripening was remorseless reaching very high levels of 33% sugar in a batch of Shiraz grapes which we made into a vintage port style.
Chardonnay is an early ripening variety and with this ability we had finished harvesting Chardonnay before the heat wave. The vineyard is set high on the slopes of the Heathcote range facing East. We pick our whites and lights at sunrise to retain as much natural cooling that has occurred overnight in the berries. Within one hour of picking it was being crushed and pressed and prepared for fermentation in French oak Barriques. Twelve months
barrel maturation a touch of Malolactic fermentation and filtered into bottle.
Sight - A bright green gold color displays the oak maturation (gold) and the fresh fruit (green).
Bouquet - Tropical fruit and buttered toasted aromas lift powerfully from the glass. Quite powerful and complex ripe fruits with some wine making influences - lees stirring. A little Malo butter and savoury oak.
Palate - The first impression is a full and balanced palate with fruit weight and nutty oak flowing across the tongue. The finish is rounded and juicy with soft acidity and lingering tropical fruits.
An excellent food wine and has good cellaring potential.