‘Four o’clock’ is a super chardonnay showing classic characters of stone fruit (peach and nectarine) and with a hint of green apple. You might be forgiven for thinking that the wine has spent some time in oak, because it is a lovely complex style, but your senses would be deceiving you! It is completely unoaked.
The wine is delicious with classic Chardonnay and food matches; mushroom risotto, roast chicken or enjoyed lightly chilled as an aperitif. It’s a versatile style.
Good winter and early spring rains were followed by a generally dry and mild growing season. After the leaner vintages of 2019 and 2020 it was nice to see a return to long term average crop levels. We had a slow and steady ripening period without any excessive heat spikes which has resulted in super varietal fruit intensity and balanced natural acidity.
A Mary Poppins kind of vintage; practically perfect! Joch is always loathe to comment favourably about vintage quality, for fear of jinxing things – he can be superstitious like that, but by the end of harvest, the word ‘exceptional’ was heard to come out of his mouth.
We pick our chardonnay at night, to take advantage of the cooler temperatures which helps preserve the delicate flavours and aromas. Picking in the cool of the night also helps preserve the grapes natural acidity. We make this chardonnay in a few batches, so we have blending components when it comes to putting the wine together prior to bottling, which adds to complexity and .
Some grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks, some are fermented and then left on solids (the yeast which ferments the sugar in the grapes, to alcohol) and all of the components go through a cool ferment to preserve the peach and nectarine characters that we get from our chardonnay. We stop the wines from going through malolactic fermentation, which helps the wine keep its crunchy acidity.
Picking Date: 2nd March 2021 and 22nd March 2021
Bottling Date: 7th July 2021