Garagiste Terre Maritime Chardonnay 2018
This is stunning. Racy and elegant with stunning purity; its mixed citrus and white floral notes combine brilliantly with a smoky edge to the fruit. There's serious intensity and structure driving through the wine's pulpy core. The balance, extract and length are all class. Simply one of the finest Mornington whites we have tasted.
The fruit came from a few rows of Chardonnay sited in the top corner of Merricks Grove that Garagiste winemaker Barney Flanders has always felt makes superb and unique Chardonnay. Unlike the majority of the vineyard, the vines are rooted on brown soils as opposed to the more common reddish dirt of the area.
The parcel also faces slightly eastwards, offering the vines a cooler, more sheltered aspect. There is therefore less vigour than the rest of the vineyard, and the bunches are a touch smaller. As a result, the fruit from this parcel tends to make a wine of more finesse and textural depth, with a really distinctive floral and saline personality.
Over the years Flanders has found himself instinctively putting more work into this parcel and in 2017 he decided to take the plunge and vinify the fruit separately. This second release--raised in a single 500-litre puncheon--strongly backs up that decision. It's tight, but with some air (or time in bottle) there is (or will be) no stopping it.