2015 Firebird Chardonnay (Nova Vita) Adelaide Hills South Australia (Elsewhere $30)

SKU #1276704 92 points 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)  (8/2016)

K&L Notes

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."

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.

South Australia

Specific Appellation:

Adelaide Hills

Alcohol Content (%): 13