2016 Sandalford Prendiville Reserve Chardonnay
Margaret River Chardonnay at it’s best. This wine is overflowing with rich Chardonnay fruit, seamlessly balanced with the finest French oak. The palate has a rich intensity, full of peaches, grapefruit and vanilla. The palate shows layers of creamy complexity, balanced with the crisp acidity which lends itself to an exquisite structure and wonderful length. It is early days for the wine - it will keep evolving in the bottle for the next 10 years -more if cellared in optimum conditions. Serve cellar cool, 12 to 16˚C
The old Gingin clone Chardonnay vines, were hand-picked and then immediately transferred to a refrigerated container sitting in the vineyard next to the pickers. With the container set at 0 degrees Celsius, the fruit was immediately chilled down. On arrival at the winery, the fruit was hand-tipped into the winery tank press and whole-bunch pressed with only the free-run juice being used for this ultra-premium style. After settling this juice overnight the cloudy supernatant was transferred to oak for full barrel fermentation in a temperature controlled cellar. At the end of fermentation the barrels were topped and sealed. Five out of the twelve barrels that made up the blend, underwent Malolactic Fermentation. After 9 months maturation the wine was removed from oak, stabilised in the traditional manner prior to clarification and bottling. Only 540 six-packs were bottled with each bottle individually numbered.
Meet the maker
Growing up on a wheat and sheep farm is not your traditional start to a winemaking career. However, it was driving through the Swan Valley on the way to Perth that started my interest in grapes. They were always beautiful and green quite a contrast to the dry and dusty terrain from the farm. During my final year of studies at the University of Adelaide, I commenced working at Petaluma in the Adelaide Hills, and this seeded my love of Riesling. After 18 months, I decided to explore the world of wine and for the next several years was a flying winemaker, working alternate vintages in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. In the north, this took me to France (Languedoc, Cognac & a couple of days in Bordeaux) and many times to Oregon, USA. This is where my love of Pinot was born. Back in Australia, I also explored Margaret River, Geographe, Clare Valley, SA and Macedon Ranges, Vic. In January 2007, coming back to WA, I joined Sandalford as Winemaker and in December 2012, was offered the Senior Winemaker position. To talk about my winemaking philosophy, is to first understand the vineyards. My role is to let the grapes shine and ensure they reflect the vineyard site they're from. The fruit source for all of our wines, are paramount to their success, and I'm incredibly lucky to have one of the oldest vineyards in Margaret River to work with.
Yellow straw, with lemon hues.
Upfront this wine is young & restrained. It opens to an enticing blend of grapefruit, freshly roasted cashews and citrus notes. There is an underlying minerality to the wine.
Margaret River Chardonnay at it's best. This wine is overflowing with rich Chardonnay fruit, seamlessly balanced with the finest French oak. The palate has a rich intensity, full of peaches, grapefruit and vanilla. The palate shows layers of creamy complexity, balanced with the crisp acidity which lends itself to an exquisite structure and wonderful length. It is early days for the wine - it will keep evolving in the bottle for the next 10 years - more if cellared in optimum conditions. Serve cellar cool, 12 to 16˚C. bered.
The mild spring conditions merged into a warm and dry start to summer, with the vines on track slightly earlier than normal. These conditions were interrupted in mid-January 16, with 70mm of rain falling in the vineyard due to a tropical rain event. With this moisture came the challenge of increased fungal pressure on the fruit - 2 weeks out from the white harvest (leading to a very stressed Viticulturalist and Winemaker). Despite this challenge, all fruit harvested are of exceptional quality, showing intense varietal characters.