Fighting Gully Road  Chardonnay 2015
Brunswick Wine Shop | 16 Sparta Place Brunswick

Fighting Gully Road Chardonnay 2015

Regular price $33.00
Cool climate Chardonnay characters prevail with grapefruit, melon, white stone fruit, mineral and a hint of struck match. The palate shows richness despite the lack of malolactic fermentation, principally from the vines nearly 40 years of age.

"Close to Fighting Gully is a jewel in Beechworth's crown, the Smiths Vineyard. It's the oldest in the region, planted in 1978 to cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. In 2009, Walpole secured a long lease and, with Adrian Rodda's assistance, began caring for the vineyards, slowly returning them to their glory.

It's now the home of Fighting Gully wines - previously they were made at the Pizzinis' in the King Valley - as well as being home to Rodda's eponymous label (he buys all the cabernet and some chardonnay from the Smiths Vineyard, but that's a story for another day).

Walpole and Rodda are an impressive, if seemingly laid-back duo, each bringing their own expertise and philosophy. The recently released Fighting Gully chardonnay 2010, for example, is a tribute to the terroir of that vineyard and the pair's sensitive winemaking. At $32, it's also a bargain.

''There are grape growers who only look at what they do as a commodity, no different to whether you have a truck of grapes or a load of cows,'' Walpole says. ''To me, you can't appreciate how grapes best grow unless you understand the drink at the end. I regard myself as a vigneron and so I grow the grapes, pick them, drive them to the winery, make the wine - and sell it.’’ --Jane Faulkner, The Age, May 8, 2012.

Mark Walpole is arguably one of Australia's greatest viticulturalists and his interest in cool climate viticulture led him from his home in the Ovens Valley to the elevated Beechworth plateau at the top of the Escarpment above the Murmungee basin. The site was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and a small amount of Merlot in 1997 on the lower North West facing slopes, followed by Pinot Noir in 1998 on the upper North East facing slopes at an elevation of 570 meters. In more recent years after working with fruit from this block small areas have been grafted to Shiraz, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese. The vineyard is situated on the Old Red Ordovician mudstone and shale soils which make up about half of the regions vineyard sites, producing more tannic structured wines than from the Granitic soils in the regions North. In 2009 he gained access to the Smith vineyard, located only a few minutes away from the Fighting Gully Road site. This small vineyard was planted to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in 1978, making it the oldest vineyard in the region. Mark is joined in the winery by Adrian Rodda and the wines being crafted are some of the most exciting in the region.


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