Selected vineyard sites across Marlborough, including Leefield Station, The Slopes & Fairleigh Estate vineyards.
With the strongest El Nino pattern since the late 1990s being the dominant weather prediction for vintage 2016, the relative cool start to spring and the subsequent growing season was somewhat surprising. By mid-October, however, things began to look more typical as temperatures increased and the relative dryness so typical of El Nino began to manifest. The weather during flowering was warm and settled, leading to one of the most rapid and complete fruit sets seen in recent years. The early part of 2016 bought much needed rain to Marlborough, refreshing canopies and replenishing dams. Before this rain, the district had been surviving on just over half its usual rainfall. The key ripening months of February and March were warm with above average sunshine hours setting the trend for a warm and largely dry harvest.
A mix of both hand and machine-harvested fruit; the hand-harvested fruit was whole-bunch pressed directly to barrel, while the machine-harvested Chardonnay was completely de-stemmed and the juice settled prior to fermentation. All batches were fermented cool in 500L French oak puncheons. Following fermentation, the wine was aged in barrel on full lees for a further 9 months, with periodic stirring to build weight, complexity and mouth feel. During this time around 50% of the batches underwent a natural malo-lactic fermentation.
Residual sugar 1.5g/L
An elegant expression of cool climate Chardonnay displaying sizzled yellow citrus, toasty oak and a lifted nutty freshness. A complex amalgam of flavour derived from balancing the elements of fruit, oak and winemaker influence rests within a palate that is soft and finely textured; structured and sustained by juicy acidity and powdery oak tannins.
Grilled, thyme and spiked rabbit legs, wrapped in prosciutto and served on a bed of white polenta.
3 – 5 years.