Clair De Lune Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
Brian Gaffy manages all aspects of production on his vineyard in the cool-climate Strzelecki Ranges, north of the township of Leongatha, in the South Gippsland Region.
He planted his vineyard on 12-acres of undulating aspects on variations of silt loam, clay and sand. The vines are about 21-years-old -- mature. The vineyard has a mix of about six different Pinot Noir clones — predominantly MV6, 116 and 114.
A minimal interventionist approach is taken in the vineyard. Decisions on trellis and canopy management are based on micro-climates and clones in the vineyard. Bunch-thinning and low-cropping too. This means production levels are extremely low of his Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Brian has previously worked vintages with Ros Ritchie (previously of Delatite Winery) and works closely with neighbouring Wild Dog Winery. He has more than 15 vintages under his belt.
Fruit is hand-picked, hand-crushed (whites are airbag pressed), fermentation with indigenous yeasts, extended times on lees (18 months), no filtering and no additions apart from minimal amounts of sulphur. The Chardonnay and Pinot are aged in a mix of new and older French oak barrels made from the forests of Allier in the central department of France.
Each step an effort to increase fruit quality and interest in the final bottling. His wines are beautifully crafted with supple complexity expanding and changing in the glass.
A savoury and restrained style showing vanilla, spice and peach with fine citrus acidity and textural complexity. The wine is matured in slightly toasted oak -- 20-30% new depending on the vintage -- for 18-months prior to release.