Moss Wood 2014 Chardonnay

Moss Wood 2014 Chardonnay

L22_20151118_MOSS WOOD_White bg label_Chardonnay 2014 750ml

Wine Facts

Median Harvest: 20/02/2014
Bottled: 30/09/2015
Released: 18/11/2015
Yield: 7.38 t/ha
Baume: 12.7⁰ Be
Alcohol: 14.00%
Vintage Rating: 10/10

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Tasting Notes

The wine has a medium to deep straw colour and is in bright condition.

The nose has the full complement of Moss Wood Chardonnay fruit aromas – limes, peaches, marmalade, roast almond and malt biscuit. The extended barrel age and malolactic fermentation has added in some toasty, spicy oak and interesting bread and caramel notes. Complex, indeed.

The same themes continue on the palate, with full body and high acidity combining with peach, nut and cheese flavours, providing generosity and length. The finish has some toasty oak, with some tannin evident.

Vintage Notes

If we wanted to reproduce an ideal growing season for chardonnay, we’d almost certainly use 2013/14 as the blueprint where just about everything worked in our favour. We had good rain during spring that fell at the right time, so there was no disruption to the flowering. Our management of the vineyard worked well and we avoided disease and bird damage and all of this combined to give us crop levels of slightly above average.
Most importantly, Mother Nature smiled on us, giving us literally day after day of good ripening conditions and the numbers tell the story. In the end, chardonnay enjoyed a luxurious 1046 hours between 18 and 28⁰C, when all it needs is 700 to ripen the crop. In addition, it received 29 hours above 33⁰C, enough to ensure consistent ripe fruit characters but way below our designated excess extreme heat level of 80 hours. All up, we picked some of the best Chardonnay fruit ever at 12.7⁰ Baume on 20th February.

Production Notes

After a positive start in the vineyard, we dared not make any mistakes and set about carefully shepherding our new baby through the winemaking process.

The fruit was whole bunch pressed and the juice was captured and settled in stainless steel tanks for 48 hours. The clear juice was racked off, with a light inclusion of solids and fermentation commenced in stainless steel, using pure yeast cultures. Once successfully under way the fermenting juice was then racked to barrel. All casks were 228 litre French oak and 43% of them were new.

Moss Wood has 5 individual chardonnay vineyards, all of which ripen at slightly different times and so this wine typically starts its life as at least 3 individual batches. When they all finish fermentation, they are blended together and returned to barrel as a finished wine and this was carried out on 17th March 2015. Next, it underwent a full malolactic fermentation, whereupon it was racked once more, adjusted with tartaric acid and sulphur dioxide and returned to barrel.

It stayed in oak until 8th September 2015, giving the blended wine a total 20 months. Fining was with bentonite for protein stability and then it was sterile filtered and bottled on 30th September, 2015.

Cellaring Notes

As usual for Moss Wood Chardonnay, it is a very drinkable youngster and can be enjoyed now. However, it is definitely a wine for the cellaring enthusiast and will begin to show some bottle development by 10 years of age. For those who like their chardonnays to mature to the point where the secondary characters are dominant, they should wait until the wine is at least 20 years old.

 

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