Getting hold of this for tasting at Mofo HQ is a challenge. Inevitably it gets reluctantly cracked open, sparingly poured to a select few, then sequestered in someone’s rucksack to take home for dinner. It’s immediately obvious why, though. This is classic Margs chardy, of the very highest quality. The plethora of points and prizes showered upon it can attest to that. If you want to taste the very pinnacle of the style, you can go Leeuwin Art Series, or you can come here. There’s damn near infinite cellar potential if you like it a little softer and more mature, or it’s jam-packed-to-bursting with flavour if you want to test the strength of your glasses tomorrow.
“This wine is now firmly among the Margaret River chardonnay elite. It's sourced from a single site in the Wallcliffe subregion. All wild fermented and matured in large-format French oak, with about 40 per cent of it new. Wonderfully complex stone fruit, mineral and tight savoury notes. Very long and powerfully sustained palate. Classy wine. Best drinking: Now to 2030.”
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Margaret River
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Chardonnay
- Serving Temp.
From the producer
Because the wines were a little lighter than previous years we did a little more lees stirring and inoculated 20% of the blend for MLF to give a little more texture and softness to the acid profile of the wine. The 2017 shows good freshness of fruit together with some savoury notes from the solids and wild ferment. Classic grapefruit, white peach and dried pear fruits give way to barrel ferment and sulphide complexities. These sulphides contribute a lovely savoury oyster shell or saline character, giving the wine greater complexity and overall purity. This style ultimately complements many modern Australian food flavours.
After overnight cold storage the Chardonnay fruit was whole bunch pressed into French oak puncheons before undergoing full wild yeast fermentation. To achieve a portion with high grape solids we rotated the press after filling. The key to successful wild fermentation is the use of high turbidity juices, minimal sulphur dioxide, low alcohols and juices with good nutrient content. The 2017 SRS Chardonnay was barrel fermented in 35% new French puncheons and then aged for 10 months. We stirred the lees and inoculated 20% of barrels for MLF.
Margaret River is as elusive as it is beautiful, such that you really need to visit to truly grasp its haunting beauty. Über-premium Cabernet, Chardonnay and Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends grow here. 'Margies' only produces 3% of the country's grapes, but commands over 20% of its premium wine market, and hasn't had an off vintage since 2006. You start to realise how often this region is overlooked when you can list brands like Leeuwin, Cape Mentelle, Vasse Felix, and Voyager, not to mention Cullen, Pierro, Moss Wood, and Deep Woods. It's safe to say that it's time for a revisit.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Potato roesti with smoked salmon
- 800g royal blue potatoes, peeled
- 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
- 1/2-1 tsp horseradish cream, or to taste
- 100g spreadable cream cheese
- 1 bunch rocket, leaves torn
- 200g sliced smoked salmon
- 1 tbs finely chopped chives
- Coarsely grate potatoes into a sieve placed over a bowl.
- Season potatoes to taste with salt and pepper. Using your hands, squeeze out any excess moisture from grated potatoes.
- Heat 1 tbs oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches and adding more oil when needed, add heaped tablespoonfuls of potato mixture to pan, flattening to form 8cm rounds. Cook roesti for 1 1/2 minutes each side or until crisp and golden.
- Drain roesti on paper towels. Place horseradish cream and cream cheese in a bowl and stir until smooth. Divide roesti among plates. Top with rocket, smoked salmon and a spoonful of cream cheese mixture. Scatter with chives then season to taste. Serve immediately.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...