Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay (Victoria and Tasmania).
The Fowles Wine vineyards and winery are located in the dramatic granite landscape of Strathbogie Ranges region of Victoria, Australia. Fowles Wine crafts some of Australia’s finest cool climate wines, winning many of Australia’s most prestigious wine medals and trophies. The Fowles Wine team is energetic and enterprising, continuing to break new ground by proudly taking the Strathbogie Ranges ‘message in a bottle’ to the world with some of Australia’s most exciting wines.
Home to Fowles Wine vineyards and winery, the Strathbogie Ranges is characterised by massive granite boulders – the very boulders that have given rise, over millions of years, to the sandy loam soils in which our vines grow. This is a harsh Australian landscape with soil that is nutrient poor and retains very little water – difficult for farmers to grow livestock, but a wonderful landscape for grape growers seeking to grow fruit with great intensity. Couple these attributes with the cool climate, gentle aspect and glorious summer sunshine and the Strathbogie Ranges is an ideal region for growing grapes and making wine.
2015 was one of ten warmest years on record in Victoria and rainfall was very low. This combination of conditions produced a year of moderate yields and early ripening. The fruit for this wine comes from our family vineyard, Upton Run, high in the Strathbogie Ranges. The grapes were harvested during the cool of night in February 2015 to ensure fruit temperature was low to preserve primary fruit flavours. They picked chardonnay at a number of ripeness levels to achieve balance of flavour, alcohol, and acidity.
This wine was fermented between 13-16˚C. The majority of this wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve primary fruit flavours, with the remaining wine being barrel fermented to impart layers and texture. We chose to use a variety of yeasts to ferment this wine as they all impart different characteristics and help build complexity. This wine was fermented and matured (for four months) in new and old French oak with lees stirring. Lees stirring is a process where the lees (residual yeast particles) rest in barrel with the wine which promotes an appealing creamy aroma and flavour. We also added a dash of Vermentino (8%) to the Chardonnay to add a cheeky aroma and flavour twist.
This Chardonnay is a bright straw in colour. Aromas of nectarine, white peach, tropical fruits and pear jump from the glass. The palate is full bodied and full of tropical fruit with great texture and a delightful creaminess as a result of four months on yeast lees.