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Sailor Seeks Horse

2018

Chardonnay

Tasmania - Australia

About

Chardonnay runs the gamut of expressions from tight, linear and unadulterated by oak to the big, rich, buttery numbers seen from warmer sites. As Paul and Gilli Lipscombe are in the cool enclave of the Huon Valley, it’s unlikely the latter will be made anytime soon. They planted four Dijon clones (95, 96, 76 & 277) in two sections of the vineyard over 2 hectares in 2010 where they pulled out some Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Sauvignon Blanc. Early spring in Tasmania was unseasonably cold and budburst was delayed by a month but it warmed up quickly and within a few weeks they were ahead of a ‘normal’ year. Great flowering weather and a warm, dry summer saw good fruits et, nice balanced canopies and the earliest harvest ever, late March!

Wild ferments kicked off much earlier than normal and ticked through with no issues at all. The fruit was handpicked and whole-bunch pressed primarily to barrel with a small tank component due to lack of white barrels. A small amount of the wine (15%) was put through malolactic fermentation to take the acid edge off one of the clones. The wines were left on full lees, unstirred post-ferment for 14 months. The barrels were then racked and blended to tank where the wine aged for another three months as Paul says ‘finding itself’ prior to bottling. It was bottled with a light filtration and no fining.

Stats

  • Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
  • Vineyard: Estate Vineyard
  • Vine Age: 8-years-old
  • Soil Type: Sandy loam over Permian mudstone
  • Viticulture: Practicing Organic
  • Fermentation: Native – 85% in French barrique 15% in stainless steel
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: 14 months in French barriques (20% new) followed by 3 months in stainless steel tanks
  • pH: 3.4
  • Total Acidity: 6.3 g/L
  • Total SO2: 93 ppm
  • Total Production: 317 cases

Tasting Note

It’s a solar year style with slightly more fruit generosity while still displaying the mineral, saline, linear components that are seen year-in year-out. Impressive wine of delicacy yet assertion – grace but a sinewy feel. There’s a general ‘minerally’ character to this wine, but it’s not skeletal in anyway, though you’d say it’s acid driven over ‘fruity’, but then there’s a light, cereal-like character in the mix too – lots going on in a narrow frame, let’s say. Delicious, fine, elegant wine of restraint and grace.

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