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1998 Brown Brothers Victoria Chardonnay
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Notes sourced from Brown Brothers Wines.
For centuries Chardonnay has been responsible for the great white wines of Burgundy and Chablis in France. In conjunction with Pinot Noir it also produces the famed sparkling wines of the Champagne region. In all these areas it has impressed wine lovers with the elegance, complexity, richness and depth of flavour in the wines it produces. In the last fifteen years it has been widely planted in the New World wine regions of California, Australia, New Zealand and South America, producing wines of similar pedigree and acclaim. It is especially suited to areas that enjoy cool ripening periods, like the King Valley 30 km from Milawa, in the foothills of the Victorian Alps.The majority of the Chardonnay grapes used to make this wine were grown in the King Valley. Portions were also drawn from our Banksdale, Whitlands and Milawa vineyards. The fruit was harvested in parcels from mid February until late April 1998 at a baume range of 12.6 to 14.2. Forty-six percent of the parcels were fermented in stainless steel tanks with the balance being fermented in oak. Fifty-eight percent of the final blend underwent malolactic fermentation before being aged in new and one-year-old French,American and Russian oak barriques and puncheons for a further 9 months after fermentation was completed. It was bottled with an alcohol of 14.0%, a pH of 3.25 and an acid level of 6.2g/L.Chardonnay wines that have not been overly barrel fermented or wood matured have become extremely popular over the last few years. This is a reaction to the many over-oaked styles produced during the mid to late 1980s, when the variety was relatively new and many winemakers were still "feeling their way". Oak maturation tends to disguise the varietal characteristics of a wine and enhance the flavour and body on the palate. This Chardonnay displays light oak flavours that enhance but do not overpower the true characteristics of the variety. It is an elegant, stylish wine of mid-yellow colour. On the nose it displays restrained fig, stone fruit kernel and oaky, nutty characters that follow through to the palate. It has beautiful. flavour intensity with a subtle creamy mouthfeel and good acid balance on the finish. It can be drunk and enjoyed young but will develop further complexity from medium-term cellaring.This delightful dry white wine makes the perfect partner for a wide variety of seafood dishes particularly if served with a beurre blanc or hollandaise sauce. It would also be lovely with a potato and salmon frittata or fresh asparagus with a hollandaise sauce.