Mr. Barval Chardonnay
Two diverse and select parcels of Gin Gin clone Chardonnay were chosen to produce this wine. Gin Gin clone vines were used exclusively as I believe that this clone more so than any other expresses the unique Margaret River and sub-regional terroir.
All of the grapes for this wine were handpicked into small 8kg crates and immediately transported back to the winery where the whole bunches of grapes were placed gently into a traditional basket pressed to extract the juice. Whole-bunch basket pressing yields around 20+% less juice than a conventional airbag press, but the juice quality is second to none.
The juice was run into a mix of brand new and seasoned oak. The wine was fermented dry utilising the indigenous yeast which came in on the grape bunches from the vineyard.
Following alcoholic fermentation the wine was encouraged to undergo malolactic fermentation, a process whereby the malic acid naturally present in the grapes is converted into the softer and more textural lactic acid. As with the alcoholic fermentation, this occurred through bacteria which were naturally present in the juice and winery environment. Malo was allowed to continue until around 80% complete after a small addition of sulphur was added to protect against oxidation and the wine racked off its heavy yeast lees. The wine has rested and developed in oak for 8 months during which time it underwent the process of bâtonnage (stirring of the yeast lees in the bottom of the barrel) for 4 months to encourage development of more complex, savoury aromas and flavours.
This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered, with our aim being to showcase the amazing fruit which went into making it in the purest way possible.A wine which truly reflects the cooler season in which it was grown. The nose displays subtle savoury aromas, crème caramel and light, spicy, clean oak with hints of white stonefruit and nashi pear. On the palate this theme continues all framed by a wonderful mineral acid line that is both fresh as well as being salvia inducing in its minerality. This wine is drinking wonderfully on release but we expect it to begin to unwind and become more generous on the palate given time in the bottle. For those fans of aged Chardonnay I also belive this wine will age incredibly gracefully for 15+ years.