2020 'Wildberry Springs' Chardonnay
From Margaret River’s rising star, Nic Peterkin, comes this top shelf Chardonnay.
Fruit sourced from 25 year old biodynamic vines, handpicked first thing in the morning, chilled overnight, and whole bunch pressed, the 2020 Wildberry Springs Chardonnay is a culmination of labour, love and craftsmanship.
We taste a drink that is full of layers, life, and texture: Intense lemon, ripe peach and a bit of pithy grapefruit from the quality harvest, complemented by just the right amount of creamy and nutty characteristics from a very long wild fermentation of 9 months in old oak barrels, and brioche aromas from fortnightly stirring of lees (yeast).
A well-executed wine that can make any night extra special.
Chill (but not too much), let it breathe, and savor. 14% abv.
Reminds us of: Red apple, lemon, nectarine, toast, nuts, mineral, cream, struck match
Quality Time: Serve chilled with a special dinner. Great with heartier dishes such as fried chicken, creamy uni pasta and a full nigiri omakase.
Region: Margaret River, Australia
Viticulture: Sustainable small family vineyard in the heart of Wilyabrup, the fruits are grown from 25 year old vines that is growing in rich gravelly loam.
Winemaking: Handpicked in the morning, chilled overnight, whole bunch pressed and naturally fermented in French oak. Primary fermentation with natural Malo took about 9 months. Hand stirred every two weeks during extended fermentation.
Taken from the Winemaker’s website and originally published in WAToday:
A new guard of winemakers are turning the tide on tradition in the Margaret River wine region. And Nic Peterkin is one of them.
Nic Peterkin, you could argue, is somewhat of a modern-day winemaking pirate, chasing his winemaking dreams with gusto and individuality. As the son of Mike Peterkin, who planted the family’s Pierro vineyard in 1980 and is renowned for the chardonnay it produces, he has a strong wine heritage but he refuses to conform to tradition.
“Chardonnay I find kind of boring because it’s been done,” he says with a grin.
“I want to make wines that build on what’s already happening in the region.”
His Pirate Blend, for example, is unlike anything produced in Margaret River. It contains three Portuguese varieties - touriga nacional, tinta cao and sousao – traditionally used in port.
“I couldn’t resist giving them a try as a blend,” he said. “There’s a really small production over here, I think only three or four vineyards in WA. I wanted to put it into a port-style bottle as an ode to the varieties and it occurred to me this was such a pirate wine, and so the name stuck.”
Along with a few others in the region, he is also working to revive chenin, offering a crisp, dry organic and biodynamic version.
L.A.S stands for luck, art and science, which Peterkin says you need a strong combination of to make good wines. The first wines under that banner were made in 2013 but Peterkin says it was a bit of luck a few years earlier, that gave him and some of his regional peers an opportunity in the competitive wine industry.
“When a few of us got going there was this perfect storm of external factors that I think set us on this course,” he recalls.
“We had just had the GFC and so there were a lot of excess grapes down here, we had a really high Australian dollar and no jobs for winemakers because of all of that. It presented an opportunity for a young winemaker to go out on their own and try something different.
“We are not treating wine like a big industry thing. We are all under 100 tonnes, and big commercial wineries are doing that in a day, so it’s a very different ethos.”
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