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2017 'La Comtesse' Chardonnay

Elegant, complex wine with soft mouth feel and crisp clean finish. A low intervention, contemporary Chardonnay with aromas of stone fruit, white peach and melon. Lightly oaked. The limestone rich sandy-loam alkaline soils of our ultra-cool climate estate vineyard are very closely aligned with the terroir of the Côte d’Or, where great French Chardonnays are made. This wine has been crafted in the “Chablis” Chardonnay style using minimal oak, racking, and no MLF.

Label painting is of our ancestor, Comtesse Marie-Louise de Beaurepaire, by one of the Grand Masters, Louis Michel Van Loo whilst he was director of École Royale des Élèves Protégés, in 1766 for the Paris Salon. 

The de Beaurepaire family’s estate is in the hills above Rylstone in the Central Ranges of NSW. 53 hectares of vines were planted in 1998. The vineyard is 150km inland and above 600m altitude with a North-East aspect. Soil structure is sandy-loam mixed with limestone; the temperature range is as cool as Tasmania and Central Otago through the growing season; and the climate is inland/continental (large day/night variation) creating a terroir similar to Burgundy (the ancestral home of the de Beaurepaire family for nearly 1200 years).

Sourced from C Block with an average vine age of 17 years.
Harvest: Machine harvested on 15 March 2017 with a baumé of 12.9.
Vintage Conditions: 2017 started exceptionally dry after the driest winter in 30 years. Our judicious use of irrigation limited yield loss to 30% over the vintage. A wet middle of the season also helped stave off the full impact of the worst drought in 100 years, but the dry returned toward harvest enabling an extended ripening period balancing out the natural acids and sugars perfectly.

Pressing was very slow to be gentle on the destemmed fruit. Juices from the last pressing were not retained. Fermentation started cool (16 degrees) and was undertaken using native (“wild”) yeasts, Once 90% completed it was transferred a mixture of stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. No malolactic fermentation.

15% in New French (Taransaud) barriques for 8 months with the balance in steel tank for 10 months. The oak was fine grained and medium charred. Lees stirred every two weeks for wine in barrels.

Aromas of stone fruit, white peach and melon. Nice ripeness on the palate supported by French oak and a lengthy finish.

Our vineyard resides on an ancient coast line with limestone soils accentuating Chardonnay’s perfect match with all kinds of shellfish (especially oysters but also scallops and lobster) and low-fat fish (like mahi mahi, cod, flounder or tuna).
Vegetarian terrines and smooth vegetable-based soups for the herbivore.

Cellaring Potential: 10 to 15 years (2027 to 2032)
Serving Temperature: 12 degrees C / 54 degrees F


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