2021 'La Comtesse' Chardonnay

2021 'La Comtesse' Chardonnay

Regular price $35.00 Sale


This wine has been crafted with limited intervention and with reduction in mind. An elegant, complex wine with soft mouth feel. Light and lively with well-balanced acidity producing a clean lengthy finish. Aromas of stone fruit, white peach and hint of melon. Lightly oaked. The limestone rich sandy-loam alkaline soils of our ultra-cool climate estate vineyard are very closely aligned with the terroir of the Côte de Beaune.


Label painting is of our ancestor, Comtesse Marie-Louise de Beaurepaire, by one of the Grand Masters, Louis Michel Van Loo whilst he was director of École Royale des Élèves Protégés, in 1766 for the Paris Salon. Van Loo studied under his father Jean-Baptiste van Loo in Turin and Rome and won the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris in 1725, after which he became a court painter to the Kings of Spain and France. The painting was part of the Rothschild family collection stolen by the Nazis and destined for Fuhrer Museum in Lunz before being rescued at the end of WW2.


The de Beaurepaire family’s estate is in the valley above Rylstone in the Central Ranges (GI) of NSW. The vineyard is located on an ancient coral reef located just off the shore of Gondwana (450MYO) which formed a band of limestone (Coomber Formation) running north/south that appears in valleys where the younger Rylstone volcanic rock has been eroded away. 55 hectares of vines were planted in 1998. The vineyard is 150km inland and 580-650m altitude with a North-East aspect. Soil structure is shallow (<1m) sandy-loam mixed with limestone; the temperature range is as cool as Tasmania and Central Otago through the growing season; and the climate is inland/continental (large day/night variation) creating a terroir similar to Burgundy (the ancestral home of the de Beaurepaire family for nearly 1,000 years). The temperature range is very similar to Burgundy – during the growing season (October-April), our low/high/average of 11.9 / 21.7 / 16.9 degrees Celsius vs Beaune (Burgundy) low/high/average of 11.9 / 23.3 /17.6 degrees Celsius.


Chardonnay sourced from C Block (clone I10V5), with an average vine age of 17 years. The soils are very shallow (down to 30cm in spots), predominantly free-flowing sand with a little clay over limestone bedrock moderately sloping down to the river.


Pressing was very slow and gentle on the destemmed fruit. Juices from the last pressing were not retained. Fermentation started cool (16 degrees) and was undertaken using native (“wild”) yeasts. Once fermentation was 90% complete it was transferred to a mixture of stainless-steel tanks and oak barrels. No malolactic fermentation. AGING 15% in New French (Taransaud) barriques for 8 months with the balance in steel tank for 10 months. The oak was fine grained and medium charred. Lees stirred every two weeks for wine in barrels.


Aromas of stone fruit, white peach and melon. Lemon and Lime on the palate supported by vanilla from the French oak and a lengthy finish.


Ideally suited to all kinds of shellfish (especially oysters but also scallops and lobster), pasta dishes with a creamy sauce, low fat fish like Mahi Mahi or Tuna, a vegetarian terrine, or smooth vegetable-based soups. Also, well suited as a veranda wine with some creamy cheeses.


Cellaring Potential: 10 to 15 years (2027 to 2032)