Lithostylis 2011 Ironstone Chardonnay, South Gippsland
Buy Lithostylis Wine
“The 2011 Ironstone Chardonnay leads with a luscious nose of elderflower, nectarine, passionfruit, lime and toasty oak. These delicate aromas lead to a palate showing up-front fruit sweetness and a long lime juice and apple finish. There is a minerality to the palate which is reflective of the high natural acidity. Toasty oak and lee’s derived texture/complexity fill-out but do not dominate the finish. The wine is light, balanced, fresh, fine and graceful. Don’t be fooled though, there is also a steely strength behind the enticing façade.”
The Ironstone Soil (aka Ferrosol, aka Krasnozem, aka The Red Dirt, aka Spud Mud)
This is the first of our Chardonnays to be labelled by it’s soil type, in an effort to draw attention to the causal link between soil-type and wine style/structure. The Chardonnay + Ironstone pairing is a proven combination, finding favour not just in South Gippsland, but in West Gippsland, Northern Tasmania, parts of the Yarra Valley and Oregon (Jory Loams). So what’s so special about Ironstone soils? Put simply, they are: Friable, Free-Draining, Warm, Hold Water Tightly and are inherently Fertile. The fertility of the soil being the only quality which might be considered negative. We make up for this with sore knees (from de-suckering), sore backs (from shoot-thinning, leaf-plucking and fruit-thinning) and sore arms (from hedging)! These soils offer a buffer against extremes of dryness and wetness and are generally beautiful to behold! Chardonnay wines grown on the Ironstone soils of South Gippsland tend to display superfine natural acidity, an elegant, linear structure with floral, citrus, pome- and stone-fruit dominant aromas. The Ironstone soil offers a certain level of consistency in the face of varying seasonal conditions…..provided the vigneron isn’t lazy!
The 2010-2011 Growing Season
There is no doubt that the 2010-2011 Growing Season will be remembered for decades to come……but not fondly! Grapegrowers with over 25 years experience will attest that it was quite simply the toughest, wettest, coldest season ever faced in Victoria. The average rainfall for Leongatha is just shy of 1000mm – lots by viticultural standards. In 2010-2011 this average was eclipsed by over 200mm. The wetness was trying, but it was the coolness which has really defined the wines from 2011. Never before have we seen such fine acidity, delicate aromatics and lightness of form. Where Chardonnay is concerned, this has added up to an amazingly elegant wine. Light, fine, delicate, feminine…..delicious now and totally cellar-worthy.
The Winemakers Influence
Harvest on the 7th and 8th of April, approximately 3 weeks later than average. Fruit was 100% whole-bunch pressed. Ferments were initially conducted in tank at low temperature then racked to a combination of new and old oak barrels to finish fermentation at ambient temperatures. Although fermentation was finished in 40% new oak, maturation was carried out in 10% new oak only, to prevent the delicacy of the wine from being lost. Malolactic fermentation was prevented. Light lees stirring was undertaken during the first 6 weeks post-fermentation. Wine was racked after extended lees contact and bottled on the 7th of March 2012. Finished wine pH 3.28, TA 8 g/L, 12.6% alc. Acidity is 100% native.
Leading with quite a sweet-fruited and fragrant nose, this wine posesses a palate of great finesse and length. The aromas are reminiscent of thai seasonings; kaffir, lemongrass, lime, and so Thai is the obvious culinary partner. Japanese foods would also pair well. It should start showing it’s best from around March 2013, and will develop well for 8+ years gaining complexity and opening up aromatically. Bottled under screwcap to preserve freshness. Buy this wine at our online shop.