Review - Howard Park Chardonnay 2005
Howard Park Chardonnay 2005
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100% Great Southern
Will enormously reward those patient enough to cellar. This wine will develop wonderful secondary characters after about a year and will drink well for five years.
There are a number of key characteristics that define the Howard Park Chardonnay wine; fresh, lively citric and mineral aromas and flavours, elegant, refined and tight palate structure, and zesty, racy acidity. The wine is, in essence, a product of the fruit.
The fruit for the 2005 Howard Park Chardonnay is from a select group of vineyards in the far south of Western Australia. Wonderful ripening conditions in the summer of 2005 allowed us to harvest fully ripe Chardonnay grapes with good acidity. The fruit was hand picked thus allowing positive bunch selection and avoiding the pick up of bitter phenolic characters from skin contact.
The fruit was gently crushed and immediately pressed. Only free run juice is use in this wine as this is the most elegant and clean juice possible. The juice is seeded for fermentation and then pumped to a mixture of new (60%) and one and two year old (40%) French oak barrels. The wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation thus avoiding the excessive buttery phenomenon that causes advanced development of so many Chardonnay wines. A small number of barrels are stirred every week to allow the development of biscuity and nutty characters.
This is an elegant but powerful wine. Grapefruit, lime and citrus zesty aromas and flavours define the wine, with hints of minerality and a savoury, almost flinty character derived perhaps from the lees stirring in barrel. The palate is tightly structured with clean acidity and a fresh vibrant mouthfeel. The oak is complementary to the wine with subtle nutty and savoury characters.