JULES TALKS CHARDONNAY
What do you look for in the perfect Chardonnay? Jules explains what she looks for when making her Marlborough Chardonnay.
The complex flavours in this wine make it an adaptable option to pair with food. It’s perfect with dishes such a Pacific Kokoda recipe (similar to ceviche but with coconut cream) or barbequed crayfish tails with garlic butter. For a non-seafood option try it with duck pancakes topped with fresh spring onion. Or Vegetarians could try it with a mushroom risotto.
The fashion for chardonnay used to be the big, buttery, oaky wine. Do we care for fashion? Pah! This is a wine that is fresh and has great fruit flavours that expresses the vineyard it was plucked from.
AROMA & FLAVOUR
Intense aromas of dry grass, nectarine and apple peel entwine with notes of brioche and toasted macadamia nuts. Jules says the scent evokes “rolling in the hay at the end of Summer”! On the palate, ripe, rich, tropical flavours are balanced by crisp citrus notes and refreshing acidity. Barrel aging has added complexity but this holds hands nicely with the fruit and meshes together into a silky palate and a delicious, lingering finish.
The 2021 season got off to a cracking start with a warm spring. However a significant frost on 30th September followed by unsettled weather during flowering severely reduced the number of grapes. From Christmas onwards, conditions reverted to sunny, dry weather causing the grass to turn from spring green to golden brown. The grapes started to race towards harvest, but the prolonged dry spell limited any berry expansion, so at harvest we had very clean small berries but also some of the lowest harvest bunch weights since 2007. Harvest began on the 4th of March, again more than a week earlier than normal and one of the earliest harvests in Marlborough. Without exception, all vineyards were disease-free and had great fruit concentration. We just wish there were more to go round!
The fruit for this wine came from the two beautiful vineyards in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys: Meadowbank Estate in the Taylor Pass and the Anderson Vineyard in the Brancott valley. The grapes were harvested carefully by hand and machine then taken to the winery for fermentation using a variety of techniques. Whole cluster pressed portions went directly into French oak barrels for a wild ferment on high solids. Other portions were tank fermented and some were cold settled and partially tank fermented and then sent to barrels mid-ferment. The yeast lees in the barrels were stirred frequently over a seven month period to add body and complexity, and the wine underwent full malolactic fermentation to add further complexity. After its extended nap in the barrels, the various parcels were blended, stabilised then bottled.