Chardonnay 2023

Chardonnay 2023

Consistently rated as one of Australia’s best Chardonnay wines; our cool climate, old vines, limestone soils, and low yielding vines offer a wine of richness and power, full flavoured with purity and tension in balance.

  • Viticulture
  • Winemaking
  • Tasting Note
  • Reviews

Bannockburn Chardonnay is made from a blend of estate fruit grown on our established vineyards; the oldest vines planted in 1976, through to the most recent 2016 planting. This release includes fruit grown across Olive Tree Hill (1976), Winery Block (1981), Stuart Block (1997), Grigsby (2007) & Kelly Lane (2016) vineyards. The clonal mix includes P58, Bernard 76, 95 & 96, with various vine spacings and planting densities.

    Handpicked parcels of fruit were whole bunch pressed, settled over night, and racked to barrels for a wild yeast fermentation in a combination of French hogsheads and puncheons; approximately 20% 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 2023 Chardonnay offers a vibrant aroma of stone fruit, citrus, wet stone and flint characters along with yeast and fresh pastry. Spicy and smoky wood characters are present but integrated into the wine. The flavours are fresh and bright, and the profile shows tautness and depth as a young wine, with great potential. Mouthwatering acidity, tension, and presence define the palate.

      94+ points. There’s ample flavour and texture here but the length of this wine is wow. It tastes of grilled peaches, green pineapple, straw, herbs and cedarwood. There’s real flavour here, and a creaminess to the texture, but there’s a real cut to the wine as well. It arguably needs a bit of time to soften. It thrusts its way through the finish, drawing flavour along with it. In 15 year’s time people will be pulling well-cleared bottles of this out and marvelling at how youthful it seems. Campbell Mattinson, winefront.com.au.


      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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