The bouquet is a subtle and engaging mix of dusty pollen, lanoline, lemon verbena, cashews and stone fruits. From extended time on lees, the palate has developed a rich texture with flavours of bread dough and nutmeal infused and freshened by bright citrus, ripe peach and honeydew fruits. The fine linear and mineral acidity, so characteristic of the region, provides a soft and lingering finish to the wine.
The 2014 vintage in the South West of Western Australia was another great vintage which extended the succession of highly rated vintages since 2007. The typical weather pattern of: sufficient yet below average winter rainfall; a blustery and impulsive spring followed by a warm, dry summer, set the stage for a promising outcome. Whilst noticeable, the native marri blossom was not enough to sate the resident bird populations and netting of vineyards is now embedded in the annual grape growing cycle.
Mount Barker began the growing season with just adequate soil moisture and scant catchment fill. Predictably unpredictable spring weather in November did impact flowering, set and early spring growth on exposed sites. Summer was hot but uniformly so with some late on shore drizzle which brought the vintage to a rapid close in early April With yields below average, the wines produced from the 2014 vintage are full of rich yet subtle fruit flavours, linear acidity and fine ripe tannins.
The individual vineyard blocks that comprise Flint Rock Chardonnay are vinified separately. Each batch is hand-picked, cooled and sorted before pressing to extract the free run juice. Fermentation and malo-lactic occurs in a combination of older French oak and stainless steel tank. The temperature of fermentation is between 18ºC to 22ºC and the lees are stirred from the end of fermentation and throughout the malo-lactic. After 10 months on lees, the wine is blended to tank and held for 2 months prior to fining, filtration and bottling.
Wild barramundi poached then served on baby greens with a drizzle of macadamia nut pesto.