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

2017 Chardonnay (12 bottle case)

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Sensational quality wine from the Orange, NSW wine growing region.

2017 Chardonnay (12 bottle case)

bloodwood 2017 chardonnay.jpg
bloodwood 2017 chardonnay.jpg

2017 Chardonnay (12 bottle case)

408.00

Fresh green gold in colour, this Chardonnay, through its subtle nectarine flower and mellow chalkiness, displays a gently savoury-textured, rainwater-soft palate fleshy with nectarine and melon fruit notes. And after all the flinty minerality and purity of varietal expression so typical of our old Chardonnay vineyard, there remains a generously refreshing presence at the absence of this wine.

Al/Vol 12.5%

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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 2.2 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 according to expected seasonal conditions.

Vintage Conditions

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

Winter and Spring was awash. In June July August we recorded 529.4 mm when the long term median at Bloodwood is 205.95 mm. (i.e. 257 % more than median) Spring rainfall over September, October and November saw 432.6 mm fall against the long term median of 218.07 mm. (207% above median)

Summer, though was warm, stable and dry with only 2 mm of rain for February. With very good fruit set and so much available moisture in the soil profile, we suffered little with record heat in early February. We recorded 41.4 C on 12/2/2017 which is 1.7C higher than ever before recorded at Bloodwood.

Provided the vine trimmer brigade didn't toothbrush their vines too savagely, the fruit mostly survived the extremes of the February heat. Depending upon the elevation of your vineyard, the early whites and reds were safely into the wineries before the deluge in March. I recorded 173 mm at Bloodwood for March against a long term median of 63.8 mm. So, like 2014, you had to be light on your feet with the later varieties. Sunshine and calm warmth returned from about 20th March so most managed to get their late reds off.

Like vintage 14 though, 13% al/vol is the new 14%..no bad thing really. Yields were good across all varieties although Chardonnay vineyards was a little shy. The crop load played it's part in delaying harvest even though we had record warmth during summer.

Vintage 2017 gave us something to like across all varieties. Pinot Noir, Malbec, Merlot and Chardonnay are strong and I like what I see in both Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. It's a year of good volume and good quality, despite the untimely rainfall in March and the extreme heat of 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 30 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 too many reductive notes are seen. The wine was then bench trialled, cold stabilized, protein fined and sterile bottled in September following vintage. Pretty simple approach reall with the wine normally making itself. All I've got to do is avoid stuffing things up.

Wine Analysis

pH 3.19

Acidity 6.2 g/l

Alc/Vol 12.5%

Tasting Notes

Fresh green gold in colour, this Chardonnay, through its subtle nectarine flower and mellow chalkiness, displays a gently savoury-textured, rainwater-soft palate fleshy with nectarine and melon fruit notes. And after all the flinty minerality and purity of varietal expression so typical of our old Chardonnay vineyard, there remains a generously refreshing presence at the absence of this wine.

Al/Vol 12.5%

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