Wickhams Road Gippsland Chardonnay 2015
The second label for Yarra Valley producer Hoddles Creek. Established in 1997 by the D’Anne’s on their family property. Their winery allows for juice transfers using gravity feed systems. Named James Halliday's “Best Value Winery” of the Year in his 2015 Wine Companion.
Winemaker and viticulturist, Franco D’Anne, has a philosophy of no added acid, destemming instead of crushing fruit, no additional enzymes, allowing juice to settle over several days at low temperates, using a mix of old and new oak based on varietal (old oak for Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc) — for a softer and textured mouthfeel. Estate wines see about 30% new oak.
Franco worked extensively in his family’s wine store in Kew, completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Melbourne University and a Bachelor of Viticulture at Charles Sturt University, while working vintages at Hoddles Creek and Coldstream Hills. The first vintages of Hoddles Creek were completed with Peter Dredge of Red Edge, and overseen by Mario Marson, ex-winemaker for Mount Mary and Jasper Hill.
The Wickhams Road Gippsland Chardonnay is sourced from a vineyard at the start of the Gippsland GI. The vines are about 16 years old and are dry grown. The vineyard is shoot thinned. hand picked at 2.5 tonnes per acre.
Fruit is transported in a refrigerated truck overnight and processed at Hoddles Creek Estate. Fruit is destemmed the next morning and lightly crushed into the press. The juice settles on full solids and left to clarify, at 2 degrees, for four days, and racked turbid to cask to begin fermentation. A combination of cultured and natural yeast is used for ferment. The wines moved to wood for fermentation, about 15% new oak is used depending on the vintage. Wine is left on lees for about 8 months, with no battonage. The wine is filtered but not unfined before being bottled.
Bright and light yellow appearance, this Chardonnay exhibits grapefruit and lemon on the nose, with a touch of smokiness from barrel fermentation. The wine has a straight spine on the palate with a fine bead of acid running through the core. It shows light stonefruit, funk and a touch of oak.