The 2022 vintage in the Piccadilly was marginally warmer than average at 1176ºC days versus the average of 1098ºC days. 1176ºC days is a cool year compared to the hot vintages in the decade prior to 2020. 2020, 2021 and 2022 have been three successive cooler vintages, (now 4 as I observe the evolving 2023 vintage), after the near unrelenting warmth of the previous era.
The Chardonnay crop was again very modest in the Piccadilly Valley at 5 tonnes/hectare, because of the cool flowering conditions in November/December 2021, and because the previous vintage had experienced cool flowering conditions, reflected in low fruitfulness of the shoots bearing the 2022 vintage.
The Chardonnay grapes on the 30 plus-year-old vines of our Piccadilly Valley vineyards, ripened in still and cool air, sunny conditions, ideal autumnal weather.
The old vines of our Piccadilly Valley vineyards yielded up their precious crop on the 7th of April.
The hand harvested Chardonnay grapes from our old Piccadilly Valley vineyards were chilled in trays in the coldroom 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 September of 2022 when it was clear racked from barrique and bottled in October 2022.
Winemaker BRIAN CROSER
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, equally from Pat and Ted’s and Mount Bonython Shed Block vineyards in the distinguished Piccadilly Valley terroir.
The 2022 Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay has distinctive apple, nectarine and floral aromas and the flavours are intense and the texture significant. The colour is lemon with a green sheen. The aroma is very fresh and delicate, and the flavours are of sweet fruit balanced against a significant acid and grapefruit finish.
This is a very special wine, the product of a cool late vintage.