Patrick Sullivan Black Sands Chardonnay 2023


The vineyard is located a short distance to the west of the township of Heywood in western Victoria. Planted in 1990 by Alistair and Alice Taylor the vineyard has produced some of the most interesting and pronounced Chardonnay grown in Australia. The soil is a unique shallow blend of black volcanic sand and basalt over pure white limestone that runs deep.

The fruit is hand harvested into 450kg bins, chilled overnight and transferred to the winery. The fruit is whole cluster crushed into the press and drained off into tank for settling. Primary fermentation takes place in barrique (30% new) over 3 weeks followed by complete malolactic fermentation. Lees stirring occurs twice towards the end of primary fermentation then once more at the completion of malolactic fermentation. Producer’s Notes


SKU: PSV003-23 Categories: , , ,

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Producer Profile

Every winemaker has an ambition to express the complex notion of vineyard and vintage. But how best to do this? Patrick Sullivan works with chardonnay and pinot noir across various sites in Victoria. Both varieties have the advantage of producing stunning wines from an abundance of method and technique, in both the vineyard and cellar. Wine, like any other facet of human existence, experiences fads and fashions, yet the wines crafted by Patrick Sullivan are made in such a way to highlight the essence of varietal as much as tease out the nuances of vineyard.

Both colours are opulent, round in shape, with ripe fruit, firm structures and integrated acids. Vineyards are farmed with biodynamic or organic principles and the grapes are not picked until they reach full phenolic ripeness. The reds are completely destemmed after being chilled down and left to ferment naturally. Fermentation is kept cool, lasting for up to three weeks, before being pressed off into old French oak. Sweet and tangy red fruits, round in shape, spicy, rich tannins and a savouriness uncommon in Australian pinot noir. We often forget how powerful and full bodied pinot noir can be, that intense tight threading of grace and strength. Patrick Sullivan’s are amongst Australia’s deepest and most haunting, charming and powerful pinots.

The chardonnays remind me of Burgundy 20 years ago. Chardonnay, so naturally voluptuous, rich, textural and palate coating that was seemingly, effortlessly allowed to express itself. Not to put too fine a point on it, here we have a range of chardonnays that are rich, full bodied and so you don’t miss it, shaped like a Titian nude. Grapes are chilled down, whole cluster crushed, before being transferred to French oak (30% new) for natural fermentation. Malolactic fermentation is also allowed to take place and the lees are stirred twice. Winemakers chasing acid, steel and leanness would most probably be surprised at the abundance of acidity and freshness these. These chardonnays are not illusions of Burgundy – rather the teachings and learnings of the old masters for a young country.

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