The 2019 Punt Road Chardonnay is produced from the same three old blocks on the Napoleone Vineyard that composed the 2018. These blocks were planted from 1987 to 1991 with I10V1 clone. The fruit was crushed, then the juice transferred to puncheons (20% new) for wild fermentation on full solids. 50% of the wine went through malolactic conversion. The wine spent a bit longer in oak this year, but not too long before being racked to tank for stabilisation. Lees stirred monthly. No finings added; vegan friendly.
2019 was a lighter cropping year after poor fruit set. This is evident in the depth and fruit weight of the wine. It is more powerful than the 2018, with riper fruit – very much in a yellow-peach spectrum. The wine is textural where oak meets grape solids, and even a bit chewy. Lots of Chardonnay flavour. The warmth of the year also shows in that fruit weight, but freshness is not compromised. It perhaps looks more Margaret River than Yarra, with real presence in the mouth. The oak sits very comfortably in quite a powerful framework.
The finish, like the 2018, has umami and waxiness which comes as we push phenolics and solids harder each year, and the acidity is bright enough to keep the whole show together nicely. The 2019 is certainly up there with the ’18 in the rankings of Punt Road Chardonnay - Tim Shand, Punt Road