Vintage and vine
Ample winter and early spring rains made parts of the vineyard inaccessible for machinery in the
early part of the growing season. Conditions changed to extreme dry with a mini drought and well
above average temperatures into late October and November. Good even budburst followed by an
excellent fruit set, combined with rapid shoot growth promising an excellent crop. Alas, the
weather turned again! High and frequent rainfall combined with high temperatures created a
nightmare scenario in the vineyard; Everything grew like crazy, and disease pressure was very high!
The team worked like mad and made the best of a difficult season. Harvest in the end was two –
three weeks ahead of normal. For us at least, we harvested some fantastic flavours for the most
part, with some blocks looking the best I have ever seen them!
Hand harvested from Mature vines growing on our Eclipse Vineyard. Whole bunch pressed
followed by a brief settling period in tank. The juice is sent to barrel still very cloudy or ‘dirty’ as we
like to say in the trade. This means there is still lots of phenolics and other solid particles remaining
in the juice which would otherwise be left behind if the juice was settled for longer at a low
temperature. I favour this technique for Chardonnay destined for barrel fermentation and long
maturation in barrel and tank, plus a ‘richer’ juice also aids natural yeast, providing a more nutrient
rich environment. Fermentation was spontaneous and slow. Maturation in barrel lasted 11 months;
no battonage employed, followed by an additional 5 months in tank on full lees. Bottled with
minimal fining and minimal filtration. No animal products used.
Vintage and vine