Dappled Appellation Chardonnay 2016

It’s pretty clear by now that Dappled is an out-and-out star producer. One of the very best. The value is extraordinary but quality is the main take-home. There won’t be any single vineyard wines produced by Dappled out of the Yarra Valley from 2016 – kudos. Notes on this wine from its maker, Shaun Crinion, are as follows: “The 2016 ‘Appellation’ Chard is a blend of fruit from two Yarra sites. The Steels Creek vineyard was planted in 1990 with clone P58 soils are mudstone and shale with scattered quartz. The Upper Yarra vineyard was planted in the early to mid-90s with Dijon clone 76 to granitic red soils with large granite boulders throughout. The fruit was handpicked into to 250-kg bins to minimise bruising. The fruit was cooled to 10°C overnight before being whole-bunch crushed and pressed straight to oak, with no enzymes or SO2 employed (i.e. oxidative handling). Oak was a mixture of demi-muids, puncheons and barriques, with 20% being new. Fermentation started naturally with wild yeasts. The wine spent 10 months on full lees with no batonnage. SO2 was added but some MLF may have occurred, however it was not monitored. After 10 months, the wine was transferred to tank and left to settle further. A second racking to the bottling tank was made to ensure clarity. The wine was then hand bottled via gravity. There were no fining agents added.”

If you’re in the market for chardonnay then this is fill your boots territory. It’s so fine, so complex, so seamless. It has intensity of flavour and texture both, but in neither respect is it overt or overdone. It all just feels and flows naturally. Stonefruits, fresh and delicious, a run of spices, a clip of wood. A mealy character, almost into matchsticks, hovers without ever quite descending. It’s a picture of elegance and restraint, but not self-consciously so, and is every bit satisfying. A beautiful wine.

Tasted : Aug17
Alcohol : 13%
Price : $27
Closure : Screwcap
Drink : 2017 - 2022
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