Chardonnay runs the gamut of expressions from tight, linear and unadulterated by oak to the big, rich, buttery numbers we see from warmer sites. As we’re in the Huon it’s unlikely we’ll be making the latter anytime soon. We planted four Dijon clones (95, 96, 76 & 277) in two sections of the vineyard over 2 hectares in 2010 where we’d pulled out some Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Sauvignon Blanc – don’t ask...
The idea was to bring some of the best, earlier-ripening, lower-yielding clones to the Huon that would enable us to achieve the flavour, texture and acid components from a cool area that we see in the Chardonnays that we love. Our sandy-loam soils over sandstone and clay, combined with dry-farming and a marginal climate should provide some fascinating wines over the years.
2018 then...while the rest of Australia complained that it was too hot in 2018, down here in the Huon we were basking in a warmer-than-normal but much less stressful growing season. In fact, the only problem was the proliferation of European wasps which meant a lot of early evenings hacking through the bush trying to find their nests. There was a slight anomaly in that budburst was a month later than usual (quite worrying in Australia's coolest wine region) yet we began picking earlier than ever (29th March). Once picking started the fruit came in thick and fast and was another one of those logistically-challenging harvests.
It’s a solar year style with slightly more fruit generosity across the Chardonnays while still displaying the mineral, saline, linear components that we are seeing year-in year-out. We think it’s a stellar Chardonnay year and for the frist time we are also released a Clone 76 Chardonnay. This isn't your typical Chardonnay and we suspect that it is a musqué-clone Chardonnay. This means it's more aromatic, floral, spicy, Turkish Delighty but with a dry, mineral, textural finish. It's historically gone into the main blend but we had enough to separate two-barrels' worth this year and make something with a slightly different take on traditional Chardonnay. The clone 76 Chardonnay is now sold out.
The limited release 2018 Huldufolk Chardonnay is from a single hogshead of clone 96 Chardonnay. It was whole-bunch pressed straight to barrel on full solids so it has a lot more texture and length with a touch of reduction whilst still showing all the salinity of the site.
Our 2018 Chardonnays are now sold out. Our 2019 Chardonnay will be released soon. Please sign up to the mailing list to be updated on the release date.