Flametree Chardonnay 2016

The 2016 Flametree Margaret River Chardonnay has a nice balance of fine fruit flavours and tight structure, very much in line with the new wave of modern Australian Chardonnays.  Dried pear, grapefruit, honeydew melon and fig flavours are well supported by subtle French oak.  Textured, yet savoury, a direct result of wild ferments with turbid juices.

Winemaker, Cliff Royle, tells us more:

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Tasting Notes

Download tasting notes – 2016 vintage

2016 VINTAGE

The 2016 season will be remembered for the unseasonal rain event in January that meant vintage was pushed back a couple of weeks as the vines selfregulated after the rain. Other than this, the season was regarded as being fairly normal with hot days followed by cool nights, pretty much the usual weather pattern for maritime viticulture.  As has now become a part of the Flametree Chardonnay style, we were keen to get in early and pick before the flavours moved into the tropical spectrum.

VINEYARDS

The 2016 Chardonnay is a blend of three vineyards, two from Wallcliffe subregion and one from the Karridale sub-region of Margaret River. The two Wallcliffe parcels come from vineyards that were planted from cuttings off the famous Leeuwin Estate block 20 vineyard. The third vineyard in Karridale is planted to the highly acclaimed Gin Gin clone.

WINEMAKING

A mixture of semi turbid and very turbid juices were wild fermented in French oak puncheons and barriques. Only 20% new oak in total, with the remainder second and third use French oak. We favour the wild ferment with low sugars and turbid juices, as we believe the resultant wines have greater complexity both on the palate and on the nose.  The 2016 Chardonnay spent 10 months integrating in barrel. In keeping with the theme of making tighter, fresher Chardonnays we didn’t stir the lees or inoculate for MLF.

TASTING NOTES

The 2016 Chardonnay has a nice balance of fine fruit flavours and tight structure, very much in line with the new wave of modern Australian Chardonnays. Dried pear, grapefruit, honeydew melon and fig flavours are well supported by subtle French oak. The palate is textured, yet savoury, a direct result of wild ferments with turbid juices. Drink as a young wine or cellar in the medium term.

Reviews & Awards

“Wine of the Week + 95 points”

“Restraint with drive and persistence,” could be winemaker Cliff Royle’s mantra. The palate is intense but delicate and finely composed.”
Huon Hooke, The Age, Epicure, Aug 2017

“100 Top New Releases, 95 points + 5 stars”

“Not Flametree’s top chardonnay, but there wouldn’t be many complaints if it was. Lightly toasted almond aromas of complexity and charm; the palate is delicate and refined, tautly composed and intense. It’s delicious and fascinating without being overpowering.”
Huon Hooke, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Dec 2017/Jan 2018

Flametree: one of the “Best Wineries of the Regions, 5 red stars”

Halliday Wine Companion 2012 – 2018

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