This is Pete Dredge's first Meadowbank Chardonnay and what an opening salvo. From 20-year-old estate vines, the 2016 was handpicked and whole cluster pressed directly to French oak barrique (12% new) for a natural ferment. The wine underwent full malo and spent the following nine months in barrel, on lees.
Bottled without fining or filtration, on the nose there's fresh nectarine, lemon curd and a dusting of roasted nuts. Focused and chiseled, the palate is tangy and pithy with layers of citrus and crunchy stone fruits. The personality is driven by mouthwatering, punchy, cold climate acidity, while the superb winemaking brings out some mealy, layered seduction. Serious juice for a first release.
Meadowbank was first planted in 1974 prior to the purchase of the estate by Gerald and Sue Ellis in 1976. The initial plantings were small, but the business was enthusiastically grown by Gerald into the premium offering that is seen today. Partnering with friend and winemaker Peter Dredge, the next chapter is now being written. ‘Meadowbank’ is the purest realisation of what our vineyard and Tasmania can offer. Located in the verdant Coal River Valley, north of Hobart in Tasmania, Meadowbank has two estate vineyards spanning over 50 hectares. The primary vineyard sites are at Cambridge and Glenora. Modern winemaking influence is obvious in these well packaged, cleanly made wines. Reflecting their cool climate origins, the winemaking team pick at physiological ripeness to elicit the most natural expression of their fruit.
JAMES HALLIDAY - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
Three clones, hand-picked, whole bunches, wild-fermented in French barriques (14% new), matured for 9 months. While Tasmania has at times faltered with chardonnay, both small and large producers are coming to understand it better, this a good example. It is intense and precise, acidity simply part of a much larger whole, the fruit spectrum balanced to also include apple and pear.
CAMPBELL MATTINSON - THE WINE FRONT
Natural ferment, natural mlf, 12% new oak. Bottled unfiltered. 180 dozen made. Slender chardonnay with both charm and length. This is fruit and acidity strung on a crackling wire. It's nervy, nectarine-like, citrussy, chalky and long. It doesn't lack texture, not at all, but the acidity keeps things geared towards the finish, where the flavours burst out into the distance. A great option for the cellar.