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

Wine styles blog

Chardonnay and Schubert

Stephen Doyle

Demonstrating the classic character of modern Australian Chardonnay

Schubert: There are two Chardonnay vineyards at Bloodwood. The "Schubert" vineyard is planted to an I10V5 clonal selection, is trained to a Scott-Henry split canopy, each vine occupies 4.5 square metres and the row orientation is North South. The soils are volcanoclastic loams interspersed with mass flow rounded cobbles of crystalline andesitic lava over quite a friable red clay base.
This is the newer of the two Bloodwood Chardonnay vineyards and the first ripping of the soil in preparation for winter planting began at 9am on Sunday 6th March 1994. I know this because as the ripper blade behind my trusty old Fiat tractor began breaking the first vine row as it descended with great promise into the complex and dry autumnal soils of that new vineyard, the last item on the local ABC news fairly stopped me and my tractor in our tracks. After the weekend sport results and the desultory dissertations on yet another poor prospect for rain over the upcoming winter; beyond comments on the recent the pig meat market collapse and the current and expected temperatures in Dubbo, almost as a casual afterthought it was reported that Max Schubert had died. That's all the local recognition Max got. I was planning on planting Chardonnay, but it was going to be serious, ground-breaking Chardonnay with extended new French oak maturation, no malo-lactic fermentation and plenty of stirring up of the lees during its long maturation phase. It would more than challenge the prevailing norm in Australian Chardonnay styles and no doubt have to weather the slings and arrows of contemporary industry opinion.
How appropriate is it then that the vineyard should be named Schubert, and what better name could there be for a leading and innovative style of Australian Chardonnay.
 
Rhonda recommends enjoying pork belly either with apple sauce or Asian style (use star anise, soy, ginger, garlic, coriander and mandarin rind.) The retained malic acid of the Schubert cuts through the fat of dishes like duck, salmon, roast pork and chicken.
Above Typical Scott-Henry trellis (used in the Schubert Vineyard) arrangement.
 
 
And here's how it looks...
 
Chardonnay: Each bottle labeled Bloodwood Chardonnay comes from the original Chardonnay planting in Orange which originated from an old mass selection of Montrachet vines, (P58?) , and is trained to a VSP (Vertical Shoot Position) in the traditional French style. This wine has been a favourite for many years for those who like a bit of brightness and flint in their Chardonnay styles. In many ways this Chardonnay has been a flag bearer for the rapidly developing wine industry in Orange.
 
Above Typical VSP trellis (Vertical Shoot Positioning) used in the Chardonnay Vineyard
Each vine occupies 2.4 square metres and the row orientation is East-West on a 15% Northerly slope. The soils derive from ancient laminated siltstones, greywakes and gravels over a weak red clay base. No wonder the "Schubert" and the Chardonnay are two different styles of Chardonnay.

This wine traditionally has a fruit driven bouquet rich in citrus, some melon/fig notes and depending on the level of oak treatment, a subtle level of French oak char. The palate is silky smooth and very well balanced, and goes on forever; well at least until the next bottle. This is an Australian Chardonnay you will want to drink more than one glass of and you will live to tell the tale.

Rhonda loves good old roast chook with the Bloodwood Chardonnay, and suggests simple or complex flavoured prawn dishes (Asian or otherwise.)