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1999 Brown Brothers Chardonnay
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- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Brown Brothers.
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 kms from Milawa, in the foothills of the Victorian Alps.
The majority of the Chardonnay grapes used to make this wine were grown at Brown Brothers Banksdale, Whitlands and Milawa vineyards. The remaining fruit was from other vineyards in the King Valley and Victoria. The fruit was harvested in parcels from late February until late April 1999 at a baumé range of 12.2º to 14.6º. Fifty-four percent of the juice was fermented in stainless steel with the balance being fermented in oak. Forty-six percent of the final blend underwent malo-lactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 9 months in a combination of new and one-year-old French, American and Russian oak barriques and puncheons. It was bottled with an alcohol of 14.0%, a pH of 3.2 and an acid level of 6.0g/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 in Australia and many winemakers were still “feeling their way”. This Chardonnay displays light oak flavours that enhance but do not overpower the true characteristics of the variety resulting in a finer more delicate style. It is an elegant, stylish wine of mid-yellow colour. On the nose it displays restrained peach, nectarine, stone fruit kernels and a hint of hazelnut 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 cellar for up to four years from vintage.This delightful dry white wine would be delicious with a rabbit and veal terrine or veal and ham pie served with a fresh salad with light vinaigrette. Equally it would be wonderful with barbecued or grilled calamari served with salad and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar, or a roasted pumpkin risotto.