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Ashbrook Estate Margaret River Chardonnay 2022 14% 750ml
2021 saw the wettest first seven months of the year since we began recording rainfall in 1978 and our average minimum daily temperatures for June, July and August were well under 10˚C. As a result, the vines approached growing season well hydrated and well rested. Spring was cool with notable rain events in October. The lead up to vintage was dry and warm with eight minimums over 20˚C and several strong wind events. We saw a small amount of leaf burn and sun damage on the outside rows of some blocks however most of the vines remained in fantastic condition. Nectar-rich Marri blossom helped enormously in keeping bird damage at bay and minimised the need to net the vines, saving us valuable time and energy. The consistent heat resulted in continual ripening across all varieties and a condensed harvest period. Our first Chardonnay grapes were harvested on February 15th and our last pick of Cabernet was safely in the winery by March 25th. After the initial nerves surrounding labour shortages, we managed to curate a loyal vintage team who completed six weeks of non-stop, hand-picking, berry-sorting and processing. The fruit was of impeccable quality and although yields were below average, we expect the depth of flavour to rival that of the 2018 vintage.
VINEYARD The “Old Chardonnay” Gin-Gin clone cuttings were collected from the Agricultural Department ‘Source Block’ in the Swan Valley and planted in 1976. After establishing its ultimate suitability to the region and increased demand, blocks 3 & 4 were planted in the early 80’s from the original vines on the Estate as well as a small block of ‘Clones 3 & 5’ collected from the Leeuwin Estate vineyard. Originally all grown on a spur-pruned, VSP trellis, the vineyard was converted to cane pruned on a +70% lyre trellis in the mid 90’s with immediate and brilliant results. Coupled with the application of composted mulch over many years, the vineyard shows remarkable health and balance producing super premium fruit year in year out.
WINEMAKING Our five blocks of mature Chardonnay vines were harvested over four days to capture the optimal flavour profiles of each block. All fruit was hand-picked in the cool of dawn, immediately destemmed and pressed and the juice settled in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. As is our tradition, half the Chardonnay underwent primary fermentation in a bespoke selection of brand-new premium French oak barriques and the remaining half in stainless steel. Both portions were matured on undisturbed lees for eight months. MLF and battonage were avoided to retain the primary fruit flavours and freshness crucial to Ashbrook’s style of Chardonnay. After blending, stabilization, filtration and bottling the wine was further matured in our underground, climate-controlled cellar until release.
TASTING NOTES A bright and complex fusion of ripe stone, citrus and tropical fruits laced with exquisite French oak spice and fine, long acidity. Delightfully flavoursome in its youth but with superb cellaring potential. (VF)
REGION: Wilyabrup, Margaret River
© 2024 The Wine Providore. NSW Liquor Act 2007: It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. The Wine Providore supports the responsible service of alcohol.Packaged Liquor Licence No: LIQP770017094 ABN 28 619 275 768