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1998 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay
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- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Cape Mentelle.
The fruit for this wine is sourced from three sites, with most coming from the McHenry Vineyard, which has a sheltered north-easterly aspect and deep gravel loam soils sloping down to the Margaret River. This low-yielding vineyard provides quality fruit that forms the backbone of the blend. The remainder of the fruit comes from the sandy loam soils of the Maiolo and Ironstone Vineyards, further north in the Margaret River region. This fruit provides the ripe, full-bodied characters found in the wine. All three vineyards are cane pruned and vertical shoot positioned to enhance light penetration into the canopy.Ideal spring weather ensured a good bud burst and crop set. Mild weather, little wind and adequate rain continued until November. The next three months were dry with warm day time temperatures, mild nights and cooling afternoon sea breezes - perfect ripening weather. Vintage started well, with most of the white grapes picked before 100mm of rain fell. Mild but humid weather continued, delaying the end of harvest until mid-April. Yields were affected by hungry birds which attacked the fruit throughout vintage.The machine -harvested Ironstone fruit was crushed, must chilled and pressed to stainless steel tanks for cold settling prior to racking off gross lees to another tank for inoculation with Montrachet yeast, renowned for producing rich and complex wines. Two to three days later, the fermenting juice was racked to barrels of which 45 per cent were new and the remainder one and two years old. The McHenry and Maiolo fruit was transferred as whole bunches directly into a tank press where the juice was gently pressed into a holding tank. The juice was then analysed and any necessary amelioration done before racking straight into barrel to await fermentation by indigenous yeast. Malolactic fermentation occurred in one third of the blend, the balance was sulphured in winter. In January the following year the contents of all barrels meeting our standards ware blended together and given a light bentonite fining before filtering and bottling.An elegant chardonnay. displaying aromas of ripe melons and mouth watering nuances of rich apricot tart. The Intense fruit flavours continue on the palate, complemented by some savoury notes. Finely structured and balanced with fresh acidity and a long finish, this is a wine to be enjoyed over the next five to six years.14.4% alcohol volume.