This year's blend is drawn from Tuerong, Merricks and Balnarring (37, 23 and 40% respectively). The fruit was sorted in both the vineyard and winery and whole-bunch pressed directly to 500-litre puncheons. Fermentation was natural with no temperature control. This was followed by an eight-month élevage on gross lees.
The 2021 Stagiaire Chardonnay could very well be the best release of this wine we have seen. The aroma profile is intense and powerfully concentrated with a hint of succulence—generous and pulpy stone fruit to the fore. An immediate mouth-watering citrus blast is quickly followed by layers of flinty minerality, a hint of reduction and a wisp of garrigue—all supported by perfectly balanced fresh acidity. Packed full of charm and intrigue, this will make for fabulous and refreshing summer drinking. Campbell Mattinson's quote from last year on the Stagiaire Chardonnay: “Every year it’s one of the best quality/value propositions on the market”, has never been more relevant.
- Mornington Peninsula