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2017
Joshua Cooper
'Captains Creek Vineyard'
Chardonnay
Western Victoria

2017
Joshua Cooper
'Captains Creek Vineyard'
Chardonnay
Western Victoria

The Captains Creeks Vineyard is situated in Blampied, six miles west of Daylesford, and thus just outside the Macedon Ranges GI. Locally this area becomes part of the unofficial Ballarat region, however technically it is classed as the Western Victoria Zone, an anomaly in Australia's young and somewhat arbitrary regional system.

The vineyard is farmed by Doug and Carolyn May, planted in the friable basalt loam of the property in 1994, and is part of the broader Captains Creek farm. Owned by the May family since 1909 and certified organic (NASAA) since 1985, it now grows an array of vegetables on the lower, more fertile areas, as well as being home to livestock and orchards.

The vineyard is planted to pinot noir and chardonnay on a raised well-drained northerly slope, at around 1,650 feet in altitude, close to the modern farmstead and covers nearly ten acres. Due to the cool, windy nature of the site, the fruit typically ripens at a low sugar level, with small berries, thick skins and with a high proportion of millerandage (hen and chicken). The classic 2017 season was a return to slow steady ripening providing low yields of concentrated grapes with beautiful balance and freshness, in this case around two tons per acre.

Once hand harvested in the cool of morning, with carful sorting in the vineyard, the grapes are partially foot crushed then very gently, slowly pressed over four or so hours. The juice was then settled for 24 hours then racked with all but the very coarse solids to four Burgundian piece, and a single new Stockinger thick staved 600L demi-muid. The wine sees one year in oak on full lees, no stirring, and no racking, then transferred to stainless steel with all the fine lees for a further six months élevage. Before racking and bottling, unfined and unfiltered. The only addition to the wine is a small dose of sulfur the week before bottling.

Beautiful expression here, soulful, pure, flavorsome, not shy of showing off the assets of the grapes. Lemon balm and curd, faint young almond scents, green olive, citrus and citrus blossom. Tight and refreshing yet shows an inward juiciness, the wine feels of a modern expression, slightly left of center with a wild streak of saline minerality and oatmeal savoriness, but wholly complex, delicious, long, stunning.

  • Region: Western Victoria (Ballarat)
  • Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
  • Vintage: 2017
  • Vineyard: Captains Creek Vineyard
  • Vine Age: 23 years old
  • Viticulture: Certified Organic (NASAA)
  • Yield: 1.9 tons per acre
  • Soil Type: Red Basalt Loam with Pulverized Quartz
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Oak: 12 months in four third passage Burgundy piece and one new Stockinger 600mL demi-muid
  • Production: 170 cases
Winery & Regional Information
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