2017 is an excellent Chardonnay vintage in Margaret River - likely the best we’ve seen from this vineyard. January temperatures were quite moderate and February was cool and mild, resulting in a picking date over three weeks later that 2016. The fruit had great flavour at low potential alcohol levels, and amazingly vibrant natural acid.
The fruit is from a single site, the Tassel Park Vineyard in the Treeton sub-region of Margaret River. This tiny 0.37 Ha vineyard is unusual in that it's interplanted with both the classic WA gin gin clone and the Burgundian 277 clone. The gin gin affords great fruit weight and texture while the 277 has great acidity and mineral line. The vineyard faces south and is planted on deep silver-grey sands. The picking date is generally very late on average with comparison to the rest of the region and was again the last Chardonnay fruit we picked.
The grapes were harvested by hand on 13th of April and whole bunch-pressed directly to new, one- and two-year-old puncheons, with no settling or fining processes. This juice was then carefully monitored and spontaneous fermentation kicked off on day three after pressing. After a three-week ferment the wine remained on gross lees unsulphured until September of that year. In December the wine was emptied from barrel, settled, filtered and bottled.
It's a unique and spectacular site this one, making unique and spectacular white wines. After the hugely successful 2016 incarnation we couldn’t be happier with this 2017 Nocturne Chardonnay. It’s a touch finer than the previous vintage and has length of flavour that will take your breath away. The trademark minerality is there in spades and it’ll be a little hard to actually let it go - though it will be good for our sobriety. – Alana & Julian Langworthy