The fruit was sourced from blocks B and C for the Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay. These blocks are located just under the brow of the hill and run down towards the east, collecting the first rays of sun for the day. Well sheltered from the cool north-westerly winds by the hill at Dalrymple provides a microclimate that is slightly warmer than other blocks on the top of the hill. The soils also have a large quantity of basalt rock that provides good drainage of water through the profile, while allowing vines to penetrate to great depth, thus accessing water in dry conditions.
About the Vineyard
Free draining soils and steep slopes results in our Chardonnay vineyard producing low yields of intensely concentrated fruit. Above average spring temperatures and moderate rainfall were responsible for good flower initiation and above average bunch sizes and overall yield. Highly involved viticultural practices are essential for the production of the Cave Block Chardonnay. These include hand canopy manipulations such as hand pruning, selective shoot and leaf removal, removal of slow ripening and second set bunches as well as any with disease infections. This is framed by our natural understanding of the vines environment and its sustainable management with some loss being appreciated in aid of this.
The fruit was hand-picked and sorted to ensure optimum maturity. Slow whole bunch pressing, to minimise phenolics, and natural wild yeast fermentation was followed by gentle racking. The wine was matured in French oak barrels sourced from six different cooperages. Barrel rolling was employed to ensure light lees contact for texture while malolactic fermentation naturally adjusted acidity for balance and structure.
Apple blossom and white peach are coerced from the glass with hints of crushed caper and cinnamon. Fresh quince and Asian spices add to the complexity. Fresh citrus and melon flavours are balanced with a fine fleshy texture and fine acidity. The subtle spice derived from the French barriques adds complexity as well as structure through the palate and into a clean fresh finish.
Freshly shucked oysters