Giant Steps Tarraford Vineyard Chardonnay 2022 - Yarra Valley
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle size: 750ml
97 Points - Halliday Wine Companion
Location: Tarrawarra Planted: 1988 Elevation: 100 metres Soil Type: Grey clay loam Aspect: North, south and east facing slopes Size: 8.5 Hectares Located in a protected valley, Tarraford Vineyard has a discreet microclimate that is cooler than neighbouring sites. Although located in a warmer part of the valley, the Chardonnay at Tarraford is planted on the cooler slopes. One block, with P58, 548 and 96 clones planted on a southerly facing and tucked into the central vale of the vineyard. The other faces directly east, with lovely eastern morning aspect, which we picked last. This vineyard produces Chardonnay with lovely pithy fruit characters, savoury saline notes and a soft and textured mid palate, finished with line and length driven by natural acidity.
The warmest site among Giant Steps' four single-vineyard chardonnays, though planted on a cool, south-facing slope in Tarrawarra. Whole-bunch pressed and barrel fermented in French puncheons (25% new) with 10% mlf. An engaging and lovely wine. Opens with subtle scents of pink grapefruit, orange blossom and coriander seeds. Builds nicely on the gently textured, saline and structured palate before finishing zesty and long. The sort of wine that begs you to take another sip.
2022 was a high quality but low yielding season in the Yarra Valley. A very cool, wet and stormy spring resulted in some challenging conditions around flowering and hence very poor fruit set. The season proceeded to dry out into December, with a dry and warm Christmas period. This exacerbated the already small bunch weights, leading to bunches that weighed up to 40% lower than average. The mild summer meant long, slow ripening and flavour concentration throughout summer, with some well-placed rain in January refreshing the vineyards at just the right time. The strong canopies and low fruit load meant we sailed neatly into picking with very little disease or weather pressure affecting our picking decisions. The grapes from 2022 came off the vine with lovely concentration and flavour and great natural acidity.
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