2018 Bannockburn SRH Chardonnay
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Fruit sourced from the Olive Tree Hill vineyard. It’s named in recognition of Bannockburn’s founder, Stuart Reginald Hooper. These vines are dry-grown with roots well embedded in the ancient marine sediments that form the bedrock in this area. They seem to suck the minerality right out of their subsoil and deliver a spine-tingling wash of salinity to support the intense richness of flavour and texture for which this benchmark is well known.
The 2018 was wild-fermented in French oak hogsheads (20% new) and then spent 11 months on lees, undergoing 70% malolactic fermentation with minimal stirring. Only a small amount of sulphur was added before early bottling. Aromatic and intense, it starts with grapefruit pith and crushed stone offset by toasted hazelnuts, before moving up the gears, guided by Corton Charlemagne-like sparkle and inner strength.
“Bright, light yellow colour, youthful for its age, while the bouquet is also fresh and young and carries some milk powder and vanilla aromas, with background lightly-toasted almond nuances. The palate is delicate, restrained, refined and subtle, but also has power and length. It’s a wine of real style and, I think, potential to age and improve with time.”
95 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review