This year, I've concentrated more on building flavour. We were just lucky that the vintage ensured freshness and acid line anyway. The wine is purely off the old blocks of the Napoleone vineyard, planted between 1987 and 2001. I10V1 clone. A lot of work has been done in the vineyard to improve canopy structure and density, and getting crop levels back. This gives longer ripening, fresher fruit flavour and more intensity.
We picked a touch riper, and did natural ferment in puncheons with full solids (15% new). I messed around with a portion of crushing to the press this year, mostly to build flavour. We pressed harder as well.
Then we did the most malo we’ve done, at least 60%, though it could be more. Very clean malo though – building texture without popcorn. The I10V1 clone of Chardonnay needs that extra element to show any savouriness. We also stirred lees more than normal.
The resulting wine seems to have all the right elements. Freshness, but with weight. Flint and citrus, but stonefruit on the back palate. Long! - Tim Shand, Punt Road