2014 Handpicked Highbow Hill Yarra Valley Chardonnay
“This is a fine boned Yarra Chardonnay of great length.” Gary Baldwin, 2015
The Region: Highbow Hill Vineyard is 40 hectares of vines planted on rolling hills just north of Yarra Glen township in the Yarra Valley, one of Australia’s oldest and most revered cool climate wine regions. Highbow Hill soils are sandy loam over clay and gravel over Yarra Valley mudstone. The Chardonnay vines were planted in 1998. Handpicked Wines purchased Highbow Hill in 2013 and has invested heavily in the property, ripping out unsuitable varietals and planting new ones, erecting new fencing and generally upgrading viticultural practices to realise the best potential of this exceptional site.
The Wine: This wine has a complex nose of ripe pear, spice and oak with some lanolin and funky interest. The tight palate has flavours of white nectarine, tightly wound oak, a touch of minerality and a clean crisp finish. This is a typically elegant Yarra Valley Chardonnay with excellent structure and length. Food match – oven roasted quail.
Technical Info: Cold, wet and windy weather at crucial points in spring made 2014 a difficult vintage. Yields were generally low due to poor fruit set. Conditions remained relatively cool throughout November and December and into January until summer arrived in a blazing flash with a week of 40oC+ temperatures in mid-January. There followed a warm and dry finish to the season, producing good conditions for ripening, and the small harvest was relatively early and of excellent quality. This Chardonnay was hand harvested in late February. The fruit was whole bunch pressed and the juice was fermented in French oak, one third new. The wine was matured in the same barrels for 10 months.