2018 Chardonnay 'Merricks'Garagiste
Drawn from the south-facing Merricks Grove vineyard, where the grey sandy loams are marbled with red ironstone. Hand-harvested, hand-sorted and whole-bunch pressed. Then natural primary fermentation on high solids in 500-litre puncheons (15-20% new in 2018), partial malolactic fermentation and maturation on lees for nine months before bottling. It opens all coiled and reductive: scents of smoky stone fruit and hints of browned butter and oyster shell lead to a layered, textured palate with pulpy yet precise fruit framed by Merricks' vibrant freshness.
It's an absolutely outstanding example of Mornington Chardonnay with terrific intensity and length (again with that kiss of ocean breeze). Right up there with the very best releases of this wine.
"Matchsticks, funk and pencil shavings, peach, citrus, cashews, and spiced apple. A little more sunshine in this vintage, peach and pie apple, oatmeal, but with a grapefruit/lime intensity, and some more savoury lactic flavours in the mix. Wild, yet sophisticated. "You'll find I'm well worth the wait. Like a mild cheddar, I get tangy when I'm sitting on a shelf."" 94 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Mornington Peninsula, VIC