Chardonnay 2014


"Complexity, finely-integrated oak, balanced varietal characteristics: a real winemaker's Chardonnay."- Erinn Klein, Winemaker

Aromas of chamomile tea and springtime meadow blossoms abound from this Chardonnay. On the palate, tight acidity is balanced beside a gentle buttery texture and hops-like character which belie the winemaking influences of full malolactic fermentation and extended lees contact. A complex wine with finely integrated French-oak. The full Chardonnay package.

The fruit for NGERINGA Chardonnay comes from our east-facing Summit vineyard 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.

100% whole-bunch pressed. 100% barrel fermented. 30% new French oak. Barrel aged one year. 100% malolactic fermentation. Wild fermentation, no enzymes, oxidative handling pre-fermentation, spontaneous malolactic fermentation, gentle extraction, warmer fermentation, minimal temperature control. No fining. Estate bottled. Small amounts of sulphites added before bottling.

2014 was a year of dramatic, record-book extremes right across Australia. In South Australia and up into the Adelaide Hills we saw the second highest annual mean temperatures on record. From October rainfalls were significantly lower than average and by December the mercury was rising, resulting for an early bud set in the vineyards. January brought intense heat waves across the state, with five days in Adelaide registering above 42ºC. Hot days and warmer than average nights brought about an early veraison, though as ever, cooling breezes from Lake Alexandrina did what they could to minimise our evening temperatures, in particular, sparing us the worst of the extremes. As February arrived, the whole equation was to change. Intense storms at the beginning and middle of the month brought gale force winds and intense rainfalls, with over 100mm of rain falling between the 13th and 14th and bringing the hot, dry conditions to a thundering halt. While the cooler temperatures and wetter soils slowed ripening across many of the later varieties, the earlier ripeners were already well on their way to harvest. The outcome of the wild conditions was an uncommonly long vintage with each varietal requiring careful consideration to ensure optimal flavour at harvest.