I caught up with winemaker Dom Valentine when he was in town recently. We shared a meal and chewed the fat. This release is a collaboration with good friend Clare Burder. Valentine is a passionate winemaker who has a few irons in the fire. This Chardonnay is a beauty!
When discussing how this wine came about, he shared a more animated version of the description below straight from the website.
Clare: ''We were eating tacos in Brunswick one night when I suggested to my friend Dom that I could perhaps convince my father to allocate some chardonnay fruit to a project wine. We'd made chardonnay in the past - beautiful wines with good bones - but for the last decade the fruit had been allocated to another buyer. With the 2016 season looking similar to the ethereal 2005, the timing was impeccable: Dom was looking for new projects and I needed a winemaker experienced with new world chardonnay. We set out to make a wine that would put Whitlands on the map - and here we are.''
The vineyard is the highest in Victoria - 868m above. Hence the cloud reference in the branding...
Hand picked, half of the fruit came from a block which was least ripe and the remaining 50% came from the most ripe part of the vineyard. Whole bunch pressed and 25% new oak was used for nine months. No MLF. Valentine tells me the site possesses good natural acidity. This is the first release of the collaboration. 200 dozen produced.
Quite a seductive wine. There's power and focus yet it's unforced.
Pretty and attractive aromas, the mouth is filled generously. White peach reigns supreme here flanked by vanilla pod and a moreish creamy drive. A squeeze of citrus for the win adds further charm. Width and breadth through the mouth plus textural feels from lees contact ensure there is plenty of interest. A superb wine in many respects - Chardonnay freaks will be more than satisfied.
Drink now to eight years.
Region: King Valley