Right up there with the very best releases of this wine, the 2018 Garagiste Merricks Chardonnay opens all coiled and reductive. Scents of smokey stonefruit and hints of browned butter and oyster shell lead to a layered, textured palate. Its pulpy yet precise fruit is framed by Merricks’ vibrant freshness. This is an absolutely outstanding example of Mornington Chardonnay with terrific intensity and length.
The fruit is from the south-facing Merricks Grove vineyard, where grey sandy loams are marbled with red ironstone. Hand-harvested, hand-sorted and whole-bunch pressed. Natural primary fermentation on high solids in 500-litre puncheons (15-20% new in 2018). Partial malolactic fermentation. Matured on lees for nine months before bottling.