2019 Salo Chardonnay
Recently, we opened a bottle of our first Salo Chardonnay. The 2008 feels like it was made a lifetime ago and indeed, the wine was clinging on for dear life, but it was bloody nice to reflect on this inaugural release.
Crazily, 2019 is our 12th vintage of Salo Chardonnay. Some of you guys have supported us since the first wine, some have come in later, but we thank you all for the support!
This is our seventh year working with Simon Harte at the Full Moon Vineyard up in the Southern Hills of the Yarra Valley. Simon tends 23 year old vines grown on chocolate, red coloured volcanic soils on a gentle west facing slope in Gladysdale. It’s a marginal subregion for grape growing but with careful vineyard management these vines have produced pristine and powerful fruit.
The 2019 growing season had many challenges: a warm, wet Spring; a very warm and dry December / early January pushing fast growth and ripening; and a severe lack of pickers were among just a few.
But, on reflection, it feels like luck was on our side…
A cool cycle in late January / early February, coupled with good crop levels and a nice big green canopy seemed to save us, as ripening stalled and classic Yarra flavours were retained. At the end of February we saw another major heat spike that made the forests surrounding the Yarra a tinderbox. Bush fires seemed inevitable and on the 1st of March a large fire developed in the hills to the south.
Fortunately, the day before, we had all hands on deck to whip the fruit off in perfect condition.
Our winemaking hasn’t changed a great deal in the last ten years. This is testament to the Yarra Valley’s ability to produce top quality Chardonnay even in the most challenging of years.
We just let the wine flow to it’s end destination with a few tweaks here and there.
The Hand Picked fruit was chilled in the cold room overnight and then whole bunch pressed to a small tank high in the winery.
The tank is then rummaged and run to 500 Litre (all second use) Puncheons by gravity with full juice solids.
Wild fermentation finished in late April and the wine was lightly sulphured a few months later.
No stirring, unfined and unfiltered.
Even with all its challenges 2019 sits firmly in the top 5 list of vintages since 2008.
Cases made 300