2023 Howard Vineyard Chardonnay
Winemaking: This Chardonnay is hand-picked from Block A . The fruit is chilled, hand sorted and whole bunch pressed in an highly oxidative environment. The free run juice only goes straight into French oak barriques for fermentation with solids. This gives the wine layers of flavors and additional texture. Once the primary ferment this complete this parcel does not undergo malo-lactic fermentation, keeping the wines fresh and vibrant. The remaining free run juice is separated and fermented in second and third used tight grain French oak, where natural and full malolactic fermentation is completed. The other component of this wine is machine harvested without addition of SO2 with hard destemming and crushing at the fermenter again to achieve higher levels of solids for primary and secondary fermentation in stainless tanks. The wine is held for 6 months with weekly stirring to give richness and even more texture and then the parts are blended together
Vineyard: Beautiful Valley Vineyard, Charleston. Elevation and Aspect, 450-500 AMSL with gentle slopes (5-12%) generally facing the east.
Bouquet: Luscious aromas of white blossom, lemon curd and fresh stone fruit, complimented by notes of brioche. and hints of spring blossoms.
Palate: The wine delivers flavours of lemon zest, white peach, apricots and white blossom. These primary characters are then complimented with a nutty, vanilla cream character from the use of the new French oak. A lemon compote flavour lingers on the palate producing a well-balanced prime example of a cool climate Chardonnay.
Serving suggestions: The 2023 Howard Vineyard Chardonnay pairs well with fresh oysters, seafood and white meat dishes.