Howard Vineyard Amos Chardonnay 2020

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From the Schoenthal vineyard in the Adelaide Hills, located some 410 to 550 metres above sea level, with the clones which are found in this vineyard two of the famous Dijon clones, 76 and 95, which were originally imported into Australia by the legendary Pannell family – Bill Pannell was one of the pioneers in the Margaret River region, as the founder of Moss Wood, while son, Stephen, has built an enviable reputation through his time with multi-national producers and his own McLaren Vale operation. The grapes are handpicked, sorted and then whole bunches are pressed with the juice going into oak, 30% of which is new, for eleven months to mature. 3,000 bottles produced. Curiously, under diam (allow me a personal prejudice here – I am a staunch supporter of screwcaps).

Lovely wine. Lots of nutty notes, there is still plenty of oak evident, but it is in the process of integration. Nutmeg characters, spices, a hint of vanilla, hazelnuts and rockmelons. There is an attractive supple texture and good balance, though perhaps a touch much oak influence at this early stage. That will be rectified with a little more time. Good length and excellent focus. For me, enjoyable now, but much better in 12 months. Overall, a fine Chardy from South Australia and what better to match it with than some of that State’s very fine King George whiting.

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