Little Reddie Mt.Alexander Chardonnay 2020
In the glass
Aromatics are yellow, floral, perhaps reminiscent of pinot blanc. Lillies, fresh cucumber. Pithy citrus, lemon rind, yuzu soda, martini (twist). Hepburn springs mineral water. Wet rocky earth. Palate is crunchy and crisp. Granny smith, pink lady, summer mint. There’s tension, granite rules here - pushes long in the palate without weight. Big squeeze of lemony zing. Layers are camomile, sage, gentle fresh cream. Texture is mostly that mineral, pithy grip. Slight nod to tertiary oak but hardy, hardly a nod. Salivating and balanced.
'I grew up in Barkers Creek, this vineyard is just over the hill in Faraday, south of Harcourt, in the Bendigo G.I.
A very large planting of several verities under the management of David Braybrook. Very high up on the mountain on incredibly granite rich soils. This wine comes from what I think to be the best block on the property. On quite a steep north west slope where eventually the vines stop as solid granite becomes impenetrable at the top of the hill.
I like picking early here. The exposure of the hill and warmer days see flavour arriving at nice low sugars and healthy acidity. The first white I pressed in the new digs at Witchmount Estate. Fruit chilled overnight then pressed very patiently in the closed nematic press. I was thrilled with this arrangement for chardonnay. There is a very small (10 parts) sulphur addition at the press tray to keep things very clean and non-oxidative. Fermented in stainless where it is cold settled but not moved from the solids afterwards. I do this because I like how it changes the acid structure of the wine. The temperature of this ferment is held around 19 degrees with chilling, rather than crashed as I do with barrel fermented wines. This means a steady ferment that is drier much sooner, finishing in 3 to 4 weeks. Largely removed from the solids after primary had finished, mostly to stainless plus a couple of old Puncheons. Malo was temperamental and not entirely completed. Blended with sulphur addition in late July and settled on very fine lees until bottling in November.'
- Pat Underwood