Stella Bella, Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia, 2017
It is not merely in the names where these wines are memorable, as once you have tasted them you will see why Luke Jolliffe, the winemaker, continues to receive recognition and awards from around the world for wines that have that wonderful Margaret River restraint and elegance, but are bound together with a fruit purity that makes them delectable.
The Stella Bella Chardonnay is an annual selection from various individual vineyard sites all located in the southern reaches of the Margaret River region in order to capture strong varietal character and maintain high natural acidity. Also from a selection of clones but predominantly Gin Gin, which is also known as Mendoza.
All the individual vineyards that contribute to the Stella Bella Chardonnay were vinified separately. Most batches were hand‐picked at between 12.0 to 13.3° Be and cooled overnight before whole bunch pressing to extract free run juice only. Fermentation occurred in a combination of new and older Burgundian oak, with a maximum of 20% new oak in each batch. Fermentation temperature was controlled between 25°C to 26°C and the lees were stirred regularly from the end of fermentation and throughout the malo‐lactic fermentation. After 10 to 12 months in barrel the wine was blended to tank and held for 6 months prior to fining, filtration and bottling.
Time: 10 to 12 Months; Type: French; % oaked: 100; % new oak: 28;
Brilliant pale lemon with green highlights. The bouquet has a panoply of scents of great intensity and complexity – there is an interplay of the aromatic notes of white flowers, anise and lemon curd with the deeper notes of spicy oak, some yoghurt‐ like nuances and a hint of struck match. The deft palate shows both restraint and power. Taut citrus, pear and briny/mineral elements build in the mouth and meld perfectly with the savoury, nutty, fine‐grained oak which nevertheless remains unobtrusive. The finish has a pleasant grapefruit‐like tang and the signature length of flavour which shows great persistence. A wine of elegance & finesse.
Roasted pork belly. Duck.
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