Bellwether Tamar Valley Chardonnay 2018
The Bellwether Chardonnay comes from the same vineyard as the Ant Series Riesling and is grown by Rob Bennet and his wife in the Bundaleera vineyard. This vineyard is a beautiful warm sun exposed site in cool climate environment of Tasmania. The Chardonnay comes from the higher ends of the slopes and gets long sunlight hours during ripening whilst retaining lovely natural acidity due to the elevation. Sue is very involved in the vineyard here and goes over every year to prune the vines. Low yields are key factor in Sue’s management of the vines to produce the high quality fruit she looks for.
All grapes are handpicked and whole bunch pressed before being transported to the winery in Coonawarra. The press yields around 650L/tonnes, which in Sues eyes creates the perfect balance of juice versus high quality solids. If over extracted the solids can become bitter and overly reductive, but when pressed to about 650L/tonnes, the solids are clean and of a high quality that add an incredible texture and complexity to the final wine. Once the juice is fermented it is transferred to French oak barrels where it sees 33% new oak for about 9 months. After this the wine is bottled and held back in the winery for 4 to 5 years. The total production of this wine is 2000 – 3000 cases per year.
This Chardonnay shows incredible zippy acidity with a bouquet of lemon curd, grapefruit combined with a hint of ripe pineapple. There is a stony minerality and some attractive reductive aroma’s that is so typical for the region. All these components go in hand with a lovely texture and mouthfeel of butter and freshly baked bread. The acidity and texture is in perfect harmony and in the drinking sweet spot.
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