2016 was unusual in that we received an enormous 90mm of rain in mid January, not seen since 1982. Following the rain we immediately set into our vineyards to remove any fruit at risk of rot, and fortunately the Woodlands ‘Chloe’ plot benefits from a southerly breeze that dries the fruit rapidly. With the soil taking up the rain, our dry grown vines benefitted from less water stress than a usual year, resulting in brighter wines in great balance.
Our ‘Chloe’ is produced from a 0.8 hectare plot located at the north-east corner of the Woodlands Vineyard, immediately east of our original Cabernet Sauvignon plantings. The plot lies at the top of a south-facing slope where the soil is composed of deep loam topsoil over clay. This plot is the most shaded location on our vineyard- protected on the west, north and east.
Hand picked on the 15th February, the fruit was brought up the hill to the winery and pressed immediately- some crushed, and the remainder as whole bunches. Fermentation was fast and clean, without any additions being made whatsoever. Following fermentation the wine remained in barrel with the lees stirred once a month. After 9 months in barrel, the wine was transferred to a stainless steel tank and a 500L barrel, where it remained for six months to integrate and settle. This extra maturation time is a first for us with ‘Chloe’, and we feel it has definitely paid dividends.
What Huon Hooke thinks – 96 points.
Medium straw-yellow colour, with a less-bright limpidity than the Wilyabrup chardonnay, as it’s unfiltered and naturally settled. Tremendous intensity and complexity here, the palate powerful and loaded with character. Concentrated flavour, great penetration and richness as well as volume of flavour. A truly impressive chardonnay.