2019 'Jeannette' Reserve Chardonnay
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Beautiful and clear, Jeannette is a modern take on the classic, cool climate chardonnays produced in France, with a nod to the great chardonnays of Meursault and Montrachet.
By Richard & Will de Beaurepaire
Jeannette is named after our mother/wife whose favourite white variety is Chardonnay!
The vineyard is located above Rylstone in the Central Ranges GI of NSW (40km southeast of Mudgee, 70km northeast of Bathurst). It was planted in 1998 by Richard & Janet de Beaurepaire, with a mixture of Bordeaux, Rhône, and Burgundy varieties with the intention of selling most of the grapes whilst organically growing wine production. The decision to plant the vineyard at this location over other established winegrowing regions (including family winemaking operations in the Yarra Valley) was due to the similarity of the terroir to Burgundy – the home of the de Beaurepaire family. The vineyard is in a mountain valley, 150 kilometres from the coast in the Great Dividing Range. It is planted on North facing slopes rising from the Cudgegong River to an altitude of 650m. Geologically, the vineyard is planted on an Ordovician-era (450 MY ago) coral reef with shallow sandy and sandy-loam soils on limestone. The limestone was mined nearby until recently by Kandos Cement. The altitude, distance from ocean and poor heat retention of the soil and limestone, creates an inland continental climate as cool as Central Otago in New Zealand and Tasmania in Australia during the growing season with extreme diurnal variation – late Sept/Oct Budburst, Jan/Feb Veraison and March/April Harvest.
Vintage Conditions: Budburst commenced on 27 September 2018. Soil moisture levels were very low due to the ongoing drought, and the season was hot with low rainfall. Yields were greatly curtailed, and white varieties ripened up to two weeks faster. Torrential rain in March slowed ripening of red and sweet wine varieties.
Harvest (yield): Individually selected parcels of Chardonnay were handpicked on 15 March 2019 with a Baume of 14. Yield was approximately 6t/ha (~43 hl/ha). Chardonnay Sourced from C Block with an average vine age of 19 years at the time of harvest. The soils are very shallow (down to 30cm in spots), predominantly free-flowing sand with a little clay over limestone bedrock moderately sloping down to the Cudgegong River.
100% whole berry pressed over five hours, fermented using native (wild) yeast and 15-20% malolactic fermentation (MLF).
Final maturation for 8 months was 40% in new French (Seguin Moreau) oak hogsheads and 60% in 1 to 3-year-old hogsheads sourced from Burgundy. All barrels were finely grained and medium toasted. For six of the eight months, the barrels were stirred with full lees contact.
Analysis: pH 3.2, TA 7.2g/l, VA 0.27g/l, R/S 0.79
Lovely pure and clear in colour, dry and mouth-watering acidity. Elegant aromas of fresh citrus, and a hint of roasted almonds. Fine palate with lemon pith and minerality supported by French oak. Will mellow to ripe pear and honey with age. Overall, a classic chardonnay in keeping with the family’s Burgundian origins
VIN ET GASTRONOMIE
Perfect match with all kinds of shellfish (especially oysters but also scallops and lobster). Simply cooked shellfish dishes such as spaghetti alla vongole, moules marinieres or with anchovies. Alternatively, think pawns in garlic butter, fish pies or stews with creamy sauces. Roast chicken is also a classic pairing. Vegetarian terrines, asparagus with hollandaise and smooth vegetable-based soups for the herbivore. Jeannette can also be nice paired with many cheeses, including blue cheese.
Cellaring Potential: 15 to 20 years
Serving Temperature: 12 degrees C / 54 degrees F
VARIETAL MIX: 100% Chardonnay
GI: Central Ranges (Rylstone), NSW, Australia