The ‘Lorraine’ Chardonnay gets its name from – you guessed it – the famous quiche! The story goes that some of Steve’s mates – Andy Nowell and his wife – were embarking on an art project of highlighting features on beer cans with glittery thread and then photographing them for exhibitions. They purchased a few extra cans which had some 80s glamour shots on them. Andy crushed a can and sent it to Steve a photo as a joke… which turned into a label! Chardonnay and Quiche (Lorraine) is a nice 80s/90s pairing and it also references some tackier wine labels of Australia’s formative years in the industry (green and gold color scheme). Steve knew he wanted his Chardonnay to be a textural one with a lick of salinity, and a nice, refreshing acid backbone. This vintage (2021) saw a milder ripening season, with a bit of rain at different points, so the longer hang time led to more moderate acid levels, which Steve addressed skillfully in the cellar.
Three different clones of Chardonnay were all picked on the same date. The grapes were whole bunch pressed ever so slightly in order to retain acidity (this avoids a large extraction of potassium from the skins, which would bind to acids and lower the wine’s acidity). From there, the juice was handled oxidatively and fermented in 30% new French oak barrels and the rest used oak. Upon dryness, the wine was aged for nine months in the same oak barrels and then it spent one month in stainless steel. Aging was done on the lees to preserve and release acids, polysaccharides, and mannoproteins, which all give the wine that textural mouthfeel. With just a 44 ppm sulfur dosage, the wine was bottled.