Moss Wood 1992 Chardonnay
The 1992 Moss Wood Chardonnay is rich and full-flavoured yet has a subtlety and finesse which belies its relative ripeness. It is fresh, clean and lively with peach characters and hints of fig and quince, marmalade (from the lees aging) and butterscotch (from the malolactic fermentation). The wine has good weight, a depth of rich, sweet fruit, crisp acidity and a long, dry finish.
The 1992 vintage produced white wines at Moss Wood which were full-bodied and richly flavoured, a contrast to the relatively fine wines of the previous vintage. The long, slow, ripening conditions that the district experienced in spring and early summer are not necessarily a guarantee of a great vintage. However, a series of beautiful summer days with the temperature in the high twenties during February provided ideal ripening conditions. The grapes which had been about two weeks behind schedule ripened so quickly that harvest was right on time. There were no external problems, such as rain and bird damage, so that by vintage, the fruit was in excellent condition although at 13.7 degrees beaume a bit higher than usual. Yields for the Chardonnay were slightly down but the quality was good.
The wine was made by the traditional method used at Moss Wood. It commenced fermentation in stainless steel and completed it in one hundred per cent new French barriques. It underwent a full malolactic fermentation on lees and spent a further nine months in oak before being fined, filtered and bottled.
Although the 1992 Chardonnay has a generosity of flavour that gives it immediate appeal, it will develop greater complexity and concentration with up to ten years cellaring.