Jilyara 'The Williams Block' Chardonnay 2018 (Margaret River, Western Australia) "...stonefruit, grapefruit, cashew..."
A family-owned and operated vineyard in Wilyabrup, Margaret River. Planted in 1996 by the Cotterell family, the nine hectare vineyard grows predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, but also Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit is managed by hand and owner Craig Cotterell does all the vineyard work himself to ensure a sound and disease-free vineyard. Craig has managed every aspect of the vineyard since the beginning and strives to grow grapes of superior quality. Wines are made by Kate Morgan.
Harvested in the cool, early hours of the morning to retain freshness, the fruit was transferred directly to the winery, and gently pressed to tank for overnight settling then transferred to oak with some solids for natural fermentation in barrel. Lees stirring continued following fermentation, MLF not encouraged, barrels sulphured once wine has developed desired weight and complexity. Barrels monitored closely before careful selection to ensure exceptional balance of varietal characters, fermentation nuances, natural acidity and barrel complexity.
The 2018 vintage will go down as a classic, great all-round year. Flowering and fruit set were also exceptional giving solid yields across WA. Some significant rain events in December set up the vineyard with good levels of ground water to see them through ripening. A relatively cool summer has allowed for slow, steady ripening of whites, retaining high levels of natural acidity. The moderate temperatures continued allowing for optimum ripening conditions for reds resulting in wines with elegance, structure and flavour.
"A gloriously styled chardonnay exhibiting power and grace; the immensely appealing bouquet shows golden peach, fig, lemon peel, nougat and cedar characters, followed
by a superbly concentrated palate that displays outstanding depth and intensity.
It is richly textured and seamlessly flowing to a persistent engaging finish." - 96 Points, Wine Orbit
"A fulsome back label testimonial to the male members of the family is justified by the complexity of the ripe white peach, nectarine and contrasting citrus/lemon curd flavours. Oak has played a significant role, managing to make its contribution to texture and structure without impinging on the varietal character." - 95 Points, James Halliday
"A new producer from Margaret River, with the Williams' block their flagship release. It is undoubtedly a wine of quality with all the constituent parts that over time will create an elegant, complex and long lived Chardonnay. A light yellow in the glass and a nose that shows white peach, restrained fig and oak derived impact of spice and almond-meal. A tightly bound palate that has an understated class with a subtle build of fruit, oak and texture. There is a mineral acidity that weaves in and out with just ripe stone fruits and a backdrop of grapefruit underwriting the wines future development. The finish sees flint, woodsmoke and brioche. A wine that will have a big future." - 93 Points, Patrick Eckel