Inspired by my brother’s love and mastery of this noble variety, the 2014 Brother‘s Ilk is tribute to Phil’s thinking, Theo and Jan Moskos’ Bernard 95 clone fruit and our hard graft in the winery. It’s a bit of old school smashed together with a lot of new thinking all wrapped up in a bloody tasty wine. Think of it as my favourite bit of the Adelaide Hills, crafted in the Barossa!
Picked March 12th 2014, Single vineyard wine.
3.24 Tonnes picked from Bernard 95 Clone Chardonnay Grown on Theo and Jan Moskos’ Birdwood Vineyard.
Total production 1680 bottles
Pale green/gold straw
Plenty of white peach leanness over restrained and subtle high quality oak. A fresh layer of reserved lemon peel, fresh cream, slight toffee hints overlay yeasty complexity
Terrific line and length up front. Initially Minerally and lithe palate which with fresh white peach underpinned with lemon zest, creamy texture & a mouth-watering crisp finish.
Grapes were picked in the cool of the night before Basket pressing to French oak Hogsheads for a wild ferment. Fermentation and subsequent aging was 100% in barrel on lees with regular topping and stirring for 12 months.
No finings were used so this Chardy is suitable for vegos and vegans
The Vineyard: Jan & Theo Moskos’ vineyard at Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills has a lovely cool siting with well-draining light loam soils and an easterly aspect. The vineyard is planted with Bernard 76 & 95 clone chardonnay. Theo has had a lifetime tending apple and cherry orchards in the Hills and their deft touch coaxes the best from their vines.
Chardonnay is a versatile and noble grape variety, able to make fabulous wines when grown in the right sites and with sympathetic winemaking. The “Bernard” chardonnay clone 95 (selected from near Dijon) offers us a great leap forward in ultimate wine quality to many older planted chardonnay clones. They give elegance in wine structure and powerful focussed flavours (rather than the often-encountered tropical/fat/oily type flavours with inferior planting material). Vineyard site is also vitally important, the best fruit coming from cool sites with well-drained soils, water availability just right – not too much for excess vigor and not too little (making the subsequent wine clumsy and coarse.
With the winemaking I like chardonnay to be tight, fresh & elegant in structure and style. I love the flavours that fine French oak can impart – with the proviso that the fruit flavours remain front & centre, with the oak merely there to provide added complexity and structure. Most of all the wine should be made to drink and enjoy rather than striving to provide a check-list glass of flavours to tick-off and tally.
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