Vintage 2017 was cool and produced fine, lemon-citrus Chardonnay fruit. The grapes were handpicked early on the 9th March with a Baume of 11.8. Whole bunch-pressed juice was barrel-fermented on solids in new (25%) and seasoned Louis Latour Burgundy barriques. Half of the must was fermented with wild yeast, the other half with AWRI 1375 yeast. Lees contact for 11 months preceded bottling in March 2018. 15 barriques were produced from this vintage.
“Whole bunch pressed before a 50% ambient fermentation in 25% new French oak, this is a classy chardonnay. Nougat, vanilla pod, poached peach and cinnamon flavours meld effortlessly, billowing across a mid-weighted palate of both tension and generosity.”
Ned Goodwin – 91 points
Halliday Wine Companion 2020
Balnaves Chardonnay 2013 has produced rich lemon curd and citrus blossom Chardonnay fruit, which was handpicked early on February 20 and 21 with baumes of 12.2-12.3.< Whole bunch pressed juice was barrel fermented on solids in new (24%) and seasoned Lois Latour and Seguin Moreau Chagny barriques, with 40% of the ferments being wild and the balance AWRI 1375 yeast. Lees contact for eleven months preceded bottling in March 2014. 42 barriques of Chardonnay were produced from the 2013 vintage. Brilliant very pale straw colour with greenish tinged edges and watery hue. The nose displays superb lift with top notes of white peach intermixed with cashew followed by some toasty oak, biscuity nougat and subtle spice. Medium to full bodied in weight and very creamy in texture the palate boasts a mouthfilling flavour profile of creamy cashew and white peach which overlay some subtle toasty oak finishing with nuances of dried honey and nougat on the back palate. Clean dry finish. Long creamy aftertaste of cashew, white peach, subtle toasty oak, nougat and dried honey. Huon Hooke – 95 Points
The colour is light yellow, the bouquet a complex amalgam of roasted hazelnut, honey and cashew, with some creamy yeast-lees notes. These are joined by stone-fruit flavours and hints of nougat on the palate. It’s rich and multi-layered, with freshness, harmony and vitality. An outstanding chardonnay, and relatively cheap for what it delivers. Now to 2020.