2015 Firebird Chardonnay (Nova Vita) Adelaide Hills South Australia
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Chardonnay has a gorgeous honeysuckle, ripe apricot, pink grapefruit and candied ginger scented nose with a touch of toasty / yeastiness. Medium-bodied, the satiny palate offers wonderful intensity with stone fruit, savory and spice layers, finishing very long. 92+ (LPB)
Winemaker's notes: "The wine displays fragrant lemon zest, fresh white stone fruit aromas and cut apples and pears with a hint of vanilla and brioche. The palate is a mix of citrus (in particular lime), white stone fruits, fresh apples and raw almonds with a slightly creamy texture. Barrel fermentation has added some complexity and textural richness, which is balanced by crisp natural acidity.The fruit was handpicked and transported to a cold store to lower fruit temperature prior to pressing. The next morning the bunches were gently whole bunch pressed, destemmed and chilled further prior to gentle airbag pressing with only the free run juice retained. At this point we channeled the high-solids crushed juice into 'wild' or indigenous yeast fermentations. All of the wine was matured in French oak barriques with over 30% first fill (brand new) and the balance in 2nd to 4th fill to add complexity and structure to the palate. This is the 2nd vintage we have experimented with large format 500 litre Puncheon French wine barrels and it's been an outstanding success. The wine spent approximately 12 months on yeast lees with regular stirring before being racked and fined in preparation for bottling. We let around 10% of the barrels go through malolactic fermentation to add complexity and palate weight."