The 2021 ‘Tasmania’ Chardonnay from Dr. Edge (aka Peter Dredge) is sourced from two growers, one in the Derwent Valley in the south of the island, and the other in the Tamar Valley in the north. Both blocks were planted in 1987 and a farmed organically, though without certification. Like with all of the Dr. Edge wines, Peter likes to focus on blends of sites to really encapsulate the entirety of the vintage across Tasmania. Plus, this way, he gets to play with the percentages of each block to bring out the elements he desires, which are consistently drive, energy, and texture. The idea behind this Chardonnay was to make something that is by no means an orange wine, but one that sees a little bit of whole clusters during fermentation and aging in order to bring structure and length. Peter does this because he doesn’t want to rely too heavily on tannin and structure from oak; he prefers to let the grapes and stems themselves do that work.
The grapes were hand picked then whole-bunch pressed straight to old French oak barriques. Every four barrels, about 10% whole clusters were left un-pressed to soak with the juice. Those clusters stayed there through spontaneous fermentation and the nine months of aging on the lees. It was bottled unfined and with a gentle cross-flow filtration, and just a 40 ppm sulfur addition.