SRH Chardonnay 2022

SRH Chardonnay 2022

SRH is from a distinctive 12 row selection of our oldest Chardonnay vines at Olive Tree Hill vineyard planted in 1976. Named for Bannockburn founder and pioneer in the region, Stuart Reginald Hooper, this vineyard is responsible for some of our finest and most concentrated Chardonnay wines.

  • Viticulture
  • Winemaking
  • Tasting Notes & Reviews

SRH Chardonnay is made from a distinctive 12 row, 2.46 acre vineyard block, at the Olive Tree Hill vineyard. Planted in 1976 to clone P58, these rows are unique from the remainder of the vineyard in part due to being most in contact with and influenced by the site of an ancient seabed in the soil profile. The 12 rows sit in the middle of a north facing slope, and the rows run east-west. Our oldest Chardonnay vines, and always profoundly influenced by the complex soils of clay, limestone and marine sediment.

Handpicked parcels of fruit were whole bunch pressed, settled over night, and racked to barrels for a wild yeast fermentation in French oak hogsheads; approximately 30% was new oak. Malolactic fermentation occurred on 70% of the blend, with the remainder blocked. The wine was left on lees unstirred for 10 months prior to blending and bottling.

The 2022 vintage offers a very typical and excellent expression of SRH. All the richness and intensity one would expect from this site, with a chiselled and energetic feel in the mouth.

95 points. Light-medium yellow with a biscuity/wheat-mealy bouquet, superbly scented and flavoured with a hint of buttery character along with nougat complexities. Latent power. Has a touch of firmness and grip at the end and is nicely balanced and structured. A real food wine. Huon Hooke,

  • Sold
2023 Vintage

The 2023 growing season started off cold and wet. For the first time since 2011 our dam was full, and in fact overflowed for most of October and November (rainfall for the calendar year of 2022 was 800mm). Budburst was slightly behind average timing, but crops were down significantly: the bunch counts were low in the first place, we had a mild frost in September and the wet weather finally caught up with us via downy mildew. The rain stopped at the end of December.

The overall heat accumulation was the same (1338 Growing Degree Days) as 2021, both seasons on the slightly cooler side of average but differing in that the heat for 2023 was more toward the second half of the season. Veraison occurred in February and then we picked Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling in March, and Shiraz and Cabernet/Merlot in the first week of April. The picking weather was pleasant and the fruit arrived at the winery in very good condition.

While quantity was down (especially in Pinot Noir) quality was good: fresh acidity, concentration, colour, tannin and steady fermentations have us looking forward to bottling, and seemingly warmer and drier seasons as El Niño returns.

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