The Wilyabrup subregion of Margaret River is widely acclaimed by industry pundits as the source of Australia’s finest Chardonnay. Woodland’s consuming ambition is to create wines which emulate the great vineyards of the world. There is less than a hectare of low yielding Chardonnay at Woodlands and output is highly limited. Woodlands is produced exclusively from Jin Jin, the clone that made Margaret River famous for Chardonnay. The certified organic estate vines were planted in 1985 to light gravelly loam soils atop Woodland’s south facing slope and the 17 acres of northwest facing ‘Woodlands Brook’ Chardonnay was planted in 2001. The Jin Jin clone was first choice, famous for its hen and chicken bunch set, delivering low yields with higher levels of acidity and great intensity of flavor. 2020 produced excellent wines, albeit in very low quantities. Winter was classic with good rainfall, and spring was generally moderate, however in October there was some significant hail which led to a yield reduction of around 10-20%. Summer was hot and dry with almost no rain falling further reducing yields and concentrating flavors.
The fruit was hand-harvested and sorted and destemmed at the winery by gravity and vibration only. This process is very gentle, and enhances clarity of fruit in the finished wine. 5% of this wine was also pressed as whole bunches, which adds finesse. After being pressed and racked off of the gross lees, the wine was native yeast fermented in French barriques, 30% of which were new. Following primary fermentation, 40% of the wine was racked, helping to retain freshness, with the remaining remaining in barrel and undergoing malolactic fermentation with a light sulfuring post-ML. After ten months aging, the lots were blended to tank to settle, coarsely filtered and bottled without fining and with an addition of sulfur.