2019 Breachley Block Chardonnay
At Helen’s Hill, we are firmly of the belief that the Yarra Valley provides us as vignerons with the perfect ‘terroir’ to produce the best Chardonnay in Australia. The cool nights in summer maintain the acids, the hot days provide the intense fruit characteristics that all great chardonnays display. There is a planting of Chardonnay vines on our vineyard that thrive above all others in these areas. We call it Breachley.
The Breachley Block of vines sit perched above the home of co-owners Andrew and Robyn McIntosh. Planted in 1983, these vines provide an aged character to the fruit that simply cannot be replicated within younger vines. The result? Chardonnay with equal measures of intense white peach and nectarine fruit character, balanced with the hallmark cool-climate acidity and French oak mouthfeel.
Our Breachley Block Chardonnay is sourced from vines from our Breachley block, a patch of Chardonnay vines planted in 1984, 13 years prior to the rest of our vineyard. These vines produce exeptional fruit at low yields each and every year. The reason for this is a combination of the site itself and the viticultural standards we adhere to. No expense is spared in our quest for producing fruit capable of creating cool climate chardonnay of incredible quality.
Hand picked at harvest the fruit is then gently pressed into tank where it settles before being ransferred into our finest French oak puncheons for primary fermentaion in barrel. No innoculation is required as our wild vineyard yeasts are all that is necesarry to complete the ferment. We use a mixture of new and old oak (40% new). The wine is allowed to complete 25% malolactic ferment to add complexity and mouthfeel. After nine months in barrel the wine is lightly filtered and bottled.
The vintage kicked off with warmer than average temperatures throughout Winter and above-average rainfall, setting the vines with everything they needed for the growing season. Flowering was successful in November and crop loads were consistent and generous. The 2019 vintage will be remembered most for its sustained heat throughout the entire ripening season. This allowed our chardonnay vines to ripen evenly without any threat of disease. The result was intense fruit character and suger development leading to wine of incredibly flavour and intensity.
Bright pale straw colour with an intense bouquet of stone fruit and stuck match. The palate follows the nose, leading with citrus and lemon, followed by a mixture of stone fruits and smokey oak notes around the edges. This is a fruit forward chardonnay with the hallmarks of the Yarra Valley style singing along in the background in the form of fresh acidity and flint characters. Oak comes along for the ride but by no means is it steering the ship.
Bright pale straw
Citrus and lemon
Stone fruits and smokey oak
12 bottles per pack