Chardonnay 2016 – New Release
“This wine sits in the middle of the "old overly rich" and “new lean” styles of new world Chardonnay.”- Erinn Klein, Winemaker
Aromas of spring forest blossom, bight peaches as well as more complex aromas of creamy cashew nuts and subtle toasty oak and spice. On the pallet this Chardonnay has a balance between rich flavours, some complexity and body but still offers restraint and tension.
The fruit for NGERINGA Chardonnay is planted on an easterly facing slope at 380m above sea level on a soil of sandy loam over clay. The top of the vineyard has views over Lake Alexandrina and the mouth of the Murray, which make themselves known on summer evenings with a strong cooling breeze despite daytime temperatures. The vines are planted at a density of 6800 vines/ha.
Whole bunch pressed directly into French oak barriques and puncheons. Natural fermentation with minimal temperature control. 100% natural malolactic fermentation. 20% new barrels. Élevage for 12 months on full lees to build texture and integrated layers of flavour. Minimal sulphur added prior to bottling.
2016 was a dry, hot vintage from the outset with only periodic respite. Promising rains in July and August of 2015 gave way quickly to an extremely dry spring and above-average temperatures, with essentially none of the seasonal rains we rely upon from October through much of January. On the bright side, despite conditions at flowering, we had a better-than-ever fruit set that was consistent across all varieties. And then, just as vintage was becoming visible on the horizon, the miracle came: a perfectly-timed, drenching rainstorm hit South Australia on January 21 & 22, refreshing the vines in a way irrigation just cannot match. A second significant rain event in the first few days of February ensured that the vintage was saved. The harvest was very early, beginning in the middle of February, but not nearly as early as it would have been and the fruit was thoroughly revived. The result was higher-than-average yields, good acidity, moderate concentration and balanced, approachable wines. Winegrowing is rarely for the feint of heart!