I have described the 2021 vintage in the Piccadilly Valley as “near perfect”. Like 2020, the 2021 vintage was marginally warmer than average. What a relief to have two successive cooler vintages, (indeed 3 as I observe the evolving 2022 vintage), after the near unrelenting warmth of the previous decade of vintages.
The Chardonnay crop was very modest in the Piccadilly Valley at 5 tonnes/hectare, not because of the flowering conditions in November 2020, but because the previous vintage had experienced very bad flowering conditions, reflected in low fruitfulness of the shoots bearing the 2021 vintage.
The Chardonnay grapes on the 37-year-old vines of our Piccadilly Valley vineyards, ripened in still and cool air, sunny conditions, ideal autumnal weather. The seven-month growing season heat above 10ºC (Growing season degree days – GDD), was 1233ºC days versus the long-term average of 1076ºC days, most of the difference derived from the warm spring.
The old vines of our Piccadilly Valley vineyards yielded up their precious crop on the 29th of March.
The hand harvested Chardonnay grapes from our old Piccadilly Valley vineyards were chilled in trays in the cold-room to 2ºC.
The cold grapes were tipped into our gentle air-bag presses and the whole fruit pressed juice was pumped to tank before being gravitated to French oak barriques (one third new) for fermentation.
The fermentation lasted two months in the cool autumn conditions. The wine was barrel aged on full lees until December of 2021 when it was clear racked from barrique and bottled in January 2022.
Winemaker BRIAN CROSER
Bottled in January 2022
Only 550 dozen
Grown and made
The Taste of the Wine
The late ripening of a small crop in perfect cool, dry and sunny conditions, has again defined a very special Chardonnay from our unique vineyards in the distinguished Piccadilly Valley terroir. The 2021 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay is quite aromatically shy and restrained although the flavours are intense and the texture significant.
The colour is lemon with a green sheen. The aroma is of ripe golden almost mushy peach with a croissant pastry complexity imparted by yeast and French oak.
The flavour is full, ripe and sweet with a savoury acid and grapefruit finish.