SRS Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2014
Fruit for the 2014 Flametree SRS Chardonnay was sourced from a single block on Rosa Glen Road; this area is in the southern part of the Wallcliffe sub-region situated south of the Margaret River townsite. Our clone of choice is the Gin Gin (or Mendoza) clone, picked early, as per many of the best examples of Margaret River Chardonnay. This fruit comes from old, low yielding vines grown from cuttings off the famous block 20 at Leeuwin Estate. Yields were moderate at around 6 tonnes per hectare. The vineyard is situated on a cooler south-west facing site; the soil is classic Margaret River gravel loam and clay. The fruit was handpicked during the second week of February at 12 beaume.
After overnight cold storage the fruit was whole bunch pressed and sent straight to French oak puncheons. We rotated the press more than usual in order to get higher turbidity (up around 800-1000 NTU), the juices were then left to ferment with wild yeasts. The key to successful wild fermention is the use of high turbidity juices, minimal sulphur dioxide, low alcohols and juices with good nutrient content. MLF was again blocked. I’m a big believer that Margaret River Chardonnay generally has enough texture from fruit and lees; MLF often thickens the wines and interferes with fruit purity and overall minerality in the finished wine. The 2014 SRS Chardonnay was barrel fermented in French puncheons, 35% new, the remainder being second and third year seasoned wood. The wines were left on lees, the lees were not stirred.
The 2014 SRS Chardonnay is in my opinion the best Chardonnay made to date under this label and may even be the best Chardonnay made at Flametree Wines. The nose shows tight citrus and dried pear, complex sulphide notes and slight French oak aromas, the result of 12 months aging in barrel. The SRS Chardonnay also has some complex sulphides in the struck match/popcorn spectrum; this is a result of a wild ferment with high solids. These sulphides contribute a lovely savoury oyster shell or saline character, to give the wine greater complexity andcomplement modern food flavours. After 12 months in the finest French oak the wine was fined with milk, filtered and bottled in February 2015.
AWARDS / REVIEWS
- Wine of the Year - Philip Rich, Australian Financial Review 2015
- 98 Points - James Suckling, Top 10 Wines of the World 2015
- 97 Points - James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge 2015
- 96 Points - Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front 2015
- 95 Points - James Halliday, Wine Companion 2016
- Tropy - Best White Wine of the Show - Margaret River Wine Show 2015
- Trophy - Best Single Vineyard - White - Margaret River WIne Show 2015
100% Margaret River Chardonnay