Tuerong is back on board after two a two-year hiatus! The low yields of the 2017 and 18 harvests did not produce enough for single-vineyard wines, and so the fruit ended up in Le Stagiaire.
The 27-year-old vines of the six acre Robinson vineyard are rooted in black sand over brown sandy loam. This north-facing site can be harvested as early as two weeks before the nearby Merricks Grove vineyard, which gives some idea of the importance of aspect in the region. The warmer and sandier brown soils, and the more stable microclimate here generate a fleshier, satin-textured wine, and the early picking and partial malo provide the requisite mouth-watering crunch. This was hand-harvested, sorted, and whole-bunch pressed, then went through natural fermentation in 500-litre puncheons on high solids. The wine was matured on lees for nine months before bottling.
Another wonderful example of Mornington Chardonnay. I was expecting something richer from the harvest but in fact this is an intensely saline, racy, mouth-watering Chardonnay with terrific spice, green apple and tangy, pithy fruit and some malted grain like complexity. The finish is firm and suggests this will be even better with six months in the cellar.