Deep Down Chardonnay 2019
Natural or low intervention wines – it is a trend and is set to continue. Some of these wines can be fairly average – good intentions ruined by poor winemaking. But when you get a winemaker that knows their craft, these are wines that offer serious drinking pleasure. But not in the usual way. They are savoury and understated without that fruity lift that a bit of winemaking technique can bring, but they lack nothing for character and personality.
Here winemaker Clive Dougall, who had 12 years at Seresin Estate, is bringing out all his skills to make a delicious low intervention range including a Sauvignon Blanc, Arneis and completely sulphur-free Pinot, all from single vineyards in Marlborough. But the pick is a Chardonnay which had extended time on skins and just a touch of sulphur at bottling.
It is pale gold and bursts with bright exotic seamless fruits, wild and savoury with a touch oat bran and praline complexity. On the palate it is beautifully expressive and energetic, with a touch of white pepper among its tropical fruit salad flavours supported by clensing acidity with young oak still a little grippy but that will come back in time. The low sulphur also helps the wine to evolve in the glass in front of your eyes providing quite a ride.
There is only 179 cases for the world so this is the kind of wine that would get lost in most winery warehouses. It is unique, delicious, and a classy dive into the natural side of wine.