2014 Dexter Chardonnay
Analysis at Harvest
Sugar 21.3 to 22.5 Brix
pH 3.35 to 3.39
Acid 6.7 to 7.7 TA
Harvest date First two weeks of March.
P58 (50%), I10V5 (30%), Bernard 95 (10%), Bernard 277 (10%)
This season was climatically challenging but still rewarding. A cold and windy spring resulted in the lowest crops on record throughout the region. Weather conditions through summer were warm and dry with a heat spike in late January. Mild weather through March resulted in steady ripening and not the rapid sugar accumulation that can happen with vines carrying low fruit loads. This allowed for a nicely spaced harvest assisted by a lovely autumnal period, which meant picking occurred during the first two weeks of March, our long term norm.
Hand-picked fruit was gently whole-bunch pressed into a tank and settled overnight. It was then transferred into French oak barriques (25% New, 25% second and third use and 50 % older) and inoculated with a neutral yeast. From May until late winter the barrels were stirred every two weeks until MLF was completed. For this vintage 25% was prevented from going through MLF to retain acid. The wine was left on yeast lees until December when it was transferred to tank for a further month on lees. The wine was bottled in January 2015, 10 months after harvest.
Sugar 0.68 g/l
Aromas of citrus fruits, particularly grapefruit and lemon, nectarine and a hint of crème brulé.
Considering the small bunches and berries that resulted in such small yields, the palate is quite elegant and refined. The flavours are as promised by the aromas and the wine has a soft entry and middle palate with good length and a nice refreshing finish.