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Quality cool climate wine from the Orange wine growing region in New South Wales, Australia

2014 Chardonnay (12 bottle case)

Cellar Door

We (that is, Rhonda and Stephen Doyle) planted the pioneering wine grape vineyard in the Spring of 1983. These Merlot Noir vines thrived in the warm, free-draining gravels of Bloodwood. The first vintage, yielding 650 litres of exciting varietal essence, duly followed in April 1986. Over the last three decades, we have cared for and nurtured those original vines on our Griffin Road property. Today, in their maturity, they offer the best potential for the production of the highest quality, cool climate fruit which is the enduring foundation of all our Bloodwood wine styles.

2014 Chardonnay (12 bottle case)

bloodwood 2014-chardonnay-12-bottle-case.jpg
bloodwood 2014-chardonnay-12-bottle-case.jpg

2014 Chardonnay (12 bottle case)

384.00

Stone fruit blossom and chalky citrus notes announce a gently textured, rainwater-soft palate that exudes racy nectarine and white peach notes. Light green gold in colour, with all the flinty minerality and purity of varietal expression so typical of this old Chardonnay vineyard, there remains a crisp, refreshing presence at the absence of this wine.

Al/Vol 13%

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Vineyard

This vineyard is the original Chardonnay vineyard at Bloodwood , and as such is responsible for much of the perception of quality that today surrounds Orange Chardonnay as a style. The free draining, but poor soils are derived from a mixture of laminated siltstones and massive volcaniclastic sandstone over a deep free draining pale substrate on a northerly slope of 15 degrees or so. Rows are arranged East/West on a pretty close planting of 1.2 by 2.4 metres. The vines are from the traditionally reserved P58 clone, and are trellised to a moderately formal VSP trellis system. Because of the lack of vigour in both the clone and the site, a mixture of cane and spur pruning is used in this vineyard to better balance the vines.

Vintage Conditions

The Weather At Bloodwood is always the same; It's Different!

I suppose the best way to characterize vintage 2014 is that a brown disaster turned into a green disaster. You had to turn from a second row forward with your head a bit too far up one too many scrums into a ballerina capable of doing a pirouette off the end of an adage while anticipating a grand allegro to survive. Basically we had to cope with hotter and drier than usual conditions until around the middle of February followed by persistent rains over the ripening months. Briefly, the recorded facts are as follows:

Winter/spring rainfall: Winter rainfall (Jun Jul Aug) was marginally down on the long term medium however Spring (Sept Oct Nov) was 32% below the long term medium.  We began irrigating here at Bloodwood on 29/10/2014 when early January is typical for us.

Weather up to and including harvest. Hot and bothered would be the shorthand here. Actually 0.4C warmer than 2013 up to harvest and 0.2C warmer than 2013 from first fruit harvested to the end of vintage in mid-April. We were managing for the creeping brown disaster of the growing season when it completely flipped from around mid-Febuary. Comparative rainfall from 15th Feb to 31st March 2013/2014 was 139.2mm verses 225mm this year.  In summary, a potential brown disaster changed overnight to a potential green disaster so vintage success this year depended on how ripe your fruit was before the break and how light on your feet you were as a viticulturist and wine maker as the rains began to test your skills.   A complicating factor was that crop loads  (as a consequence of the dry and sunny bud initiation period of January 2013) were generally higher than vintage 2013 so pressure from Botrytis Cinera was high in late ripening varieties. In vintage 2014,  13%al/vol is the new 14% al/vol and this is no bad thing.  
As far as the Chardonnay is concerned, it was advanced enough to be unaffected by the late rains and it came into the winery in good shape at a very early 13th February.

Winemaking

The initial approach for the Chardonnay is much the same as the Schubert, although the grapes are usually picked slightly earlier. The hand‑picked fruit was  whole‑bunch pressed in an air‑bag press to 1.1 atmospheres with the low phenolic juice transferred to an insulated tank for overnight settling and subsequent racking. Some fine settlings were allowed to pass into the racking tank where, under gentle warmth, the juice commenced fermentation. After a brix or so conversion, the newly moving juice was split into 30% well seasoned old oak with the balance fermented to dryness over 25 days in stainless steel. After primary fermentation completed, both parcels of the wine were sulfured to inhibit malo‑lactic fermentation, stirred and transferred to our cool maturation cellar where it spent six months sitting on fine lees. Stirring only occurs if any reductive notes are seen. The wine was then bench trialled, cold stabilized, protein fined and sterile bottled in September following vintage. Pretty simple approach really with the wine normally making itself. All I've got to do is avoid stuffing things up. 

Wine Analysis

pH 3.28
Acidity 5.4 g/l
Alc/Vol 13.0%

Tasting Notes

Stone fruit blossom and chalky citrus notes announce a gently textured, rainwater-soft palate that exudes racy nectarine and white peach notes. Light green gold in colour, with all the flinty minerality and purity of varietal expression so typical of this old Chardonnay vineyard, there remains a crisp, refreshing presence at the absence of this wine.

Al/Vol 13%

Pale quartz-green; an elegant, focused wine, fruit foremost, oak and other winemaker inputs (if any) in the background; white peach, apple and grapefruit are the keys, with balanced acidity. 13% 94 points
— Mr Halliday's Review of 2013 Chardonnay
Light straw-green; a wantonly, explosively juicy, palate is filled to overflowing with grapefruit and white peach fruit which has contemptuously swallowed the French oak in which it was fermented and matured. Sheer hedonistic pleasure. 12.5% 95 points
— Mr Halliday's Review of 2012 Chardonnay
Pale colour; a distinctly savoury example, with lemon pith, fennel and hazelnut; the palate is taut and high in acid, with a long finish reminiscent of hazelnuts and anise; this will be a challenge to many, but is interesting none the less. 12.5% alc. Rating 90 Drink 2016 BE
— Mr Halliday’s Review of 2011 Chardonnay
Highly Recommended
Restrained, fresh, and grapefruity. A very attractive chardonnay from Orange,N.S.W., in the flinty Chablis style. Distinctive and classy. Excellent Value.
— Winewise Vol 26, Number 2
A zesty, zippy bouquet is citrus‑dominated, but varietal expression comes through on the lively white peach and grapefruit palate. Screwcap.

12.5% alc.

Rating 92

Drink 2016
— Mr Halliday’s Review of 2009 Chardonnay