2019 Gainsborough Park Vineyard Chardonnay
Dry grown since it was planted in 1991, the vines of Gainsborough Park vineyard adapted admirably to the dry conditions of the 2019 season, with a healthy canopy persisting throughout. With its higher elevation, Gainsborough Park always ripens one to two weeks later than KBS, though this was reduced to only 4 days in the condensed vintage of 2019. Hand-picked on March 9th, the modest crop of 4.5 tonnes/ha was whole bunch pressed, with the unclarified juice fermented and matured in a mix of French oak puncheons (25% new) for 8 months. The elevated acidity produced by the cool February meant that we decided to allow all barrels to undergo malo-lactic fermentation.
As always with Gainsborough Park, this 2019 release is a very individual Chardonnay with a basket full of different characters, from creamy-smoky-earthy mushroom to intense pink grapefruit, lemon rind and honey, all within a framework of buoyant acidity and textural presence.