95 Halliday Points, 5 Stars & Top 1O Dark Horse Wineries of 2017!
Chardonnay Beechworth Victoria
The mineral rich hills of Beechworth are Shangri-la for the realization of big boned Chardonnay wines in the like of Chablis. The mere 1.2 hectares of Piano Piano's vineyard make for an excruciatingly low yielding site, quality of fruit however is exceptional, the vinification is decidedly Burgundian. New oak ferments and vineyard yeasts are essential to the raison d'être of Sophie's Block, a mouthfilling Beechworth style to match west coast langoustine or suckling pork, caramelled goose liver or delicately seared abalone.
Chardonnay is hand picked over the passage of two weekends to create a wine of complexity and depth, the first harvest adds grapefruit and tight mineral structure, the riper second pick contributes intensity and palate weight. Grapes are all sorted, destemmed and gently pressed. Fruit is treated to a wild, indigenous vinifiction over the course of a fortnight, through the action of ambient vineyard yeasts in a high proportion of the finest new French oak hogsheads and barriques. Ten months maturation and an occasional lees stirring battonage, achieves a powerful, multi dimensional wine of structure, complexity and amazing length.
Bright straw yellow hues. Attractive nose of dried herb, cashews and citrus bouquets, minerality and finely integrated oak. The palate is lively and complex, crisp marine characters and developed peach, nectarine flavours are supported by a seamless length of maple, tangelo and delicious caramel oak, resolving on a lasting finish of compote fruit and briny savouryness.