We have above average winter rainfall and although we had a dry June, we recorded decent falls in July and August. Below average rainfall was recorded in spring, and we experienced some warm spring nights. Summer rain tally was also below average despite a wet December. McLaren Vale experienced warm a warm Autumn ripening period with low rainfall. Overall vintage in McLaren Vale produced wine of excellent quality and while total tonnages were down for the season, compared to a wet and fertile 2017, the reports from winemakers on wine quality has been almost universally positive.
We pick our Four O’clock Chardonnay at night, or early in the morning to keep the grapes cool and help jolly along the delicate nectarine and stone fruit characters and not lose them. Joch and the team make this wine in batches so we end up with different components when it comes time to put the wine together and bottle it. We get our Chardonnay from 3 different (organic) blocks on the vineyards, so each batch brings its own peculiarities of site with it to the mix. We try our very hardest to keep the ferment away from oxygen, and the grapes undergo a cool ferment in stainless steel tanks. We don’t allow the wine to go through the secondary malolactic fermentation, because we want to protect the natural acidity. Stainless steel ferment.
The wine shows length, balance and freshness with citrus and stone fruit and a hint of pineapple. This wine shows so much flavour and character for a wine that is completely unoaked. ‘Four o’clock’ is pretty versatile, too; great as an aperitif (don’t serve too chilled) and wonderful with a range of foods: roast chicken and mushroom risotto is my standard food matching suggestion.
|Picking Date||27th February 2018|
|Bottling Date||24th July 2018|