Elliptic Chardonnay 2016
"This wine doubles down on subtle, soft and gentle with alluring edges of complexity."- Erinn Klein, Winemaker
A particularly delicate nose of jasmine green tea, fragrant pink-lady apples and dandelions, with lifted hints of cultured butter. In time the aromas will deepen and turn more to cream and honey. Beautifully smooth and velvety on the palate – like very fine chalk dust – with balanced, fresh acidity and the complexing flavour of grapefruit pith. Excellent length.
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.
Predominantly sparkling clone Bernard 277, 100% whole-bunch pressed straight into concrete ‘egg’ fermenter, full malo, minimal sulphur added at bottling, bottled after 12 months.
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!