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2015 Castelli Il Liris Chardonnay

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Cracka Review

If you already know about the il Liris, then you've probably clicked the 'buy it now' button already. But if you're unfamiliar with this brilliancy, then you should make it your missing to alter that.

An incredible, remarkable Chardonnay from Denmark in the Great Southern winegrowing region of WA, it is pristine, driven and chablissiene, in its makeup, relying on a healthy mix of Champagne-base ripeness, and a little winemaking magic to add complexity. It isn't a worked style, but it certainly has the smoke and fire that lees stirring and barrel fermentation can bring.

Epic drinking, you should buy this in a heartbeat.

Winemaker's Notes

Tastine Note: Our aim in attempting a wine as bold as this was to create a wine we believed could represent the style best suited to the cool climate of Denmark, and specifically the unique properties of these two vineyards. Inspired by the modernist Grand Cru producers of Chablis (e.g. Domaine Servin), in particular from the areas of Le Clos and Blanchot. It was the vineyard that drove the direction of this wine, with the level of flavour intensity governing the amount of oak and winemaking influence. The winemakers describe this as a Chardonnay for “Riesling Freaks” with its tight structure and piercing acidity, however at its heart is the purity of Chardonnay character.

Season Notes: The 2015 vintage was slightly earlier than normal for the white varieties. Crop loads were low with some inclement weather at flowering, which allowed the canopies to cope easily with the fruit load and produce intense flavour profiles. The small crop load combined with fine weather and the lack of extreme conditions in December/January promoted early flavour and sugar development at moderate acidity levels. With high temperatures in early March careful attention to selection of non-exposed fruit was critical to reduce phenolic extraction.

Winemaking: All of the fruit was hand-picked, chilled and whole bunch pressed direct to barrel. All barrels were left to ferment naturally and only over seeded towards the end of ferment. The wine was fermented in 100% French oak (70% new, 30% 1 yr old) to dryness under controlled temperature conditions. The slightly softer acidity (compared to previous years – but still relatively high) allowed approximately 50% of the wine to complete malolactic fermentation to add complexity and mouthfeel to its natural acidity and freshness. Regular (non-oxidative) lees stirring was employed to develop texture and structure.

Alc/vol: 13.1%

expert reviews about

2015 Castelli Il Liris Chardonnay

Expert Reviews

Andrew Graham (2014 Vintage) says
Another cracking vintage of this wine, which now must rate as one of Australia’s best Chardies that no one ever mentions in those ubiquitous ‘best of’ lists. The biggest appeal here is the complexity, driven by equally complex production – that includes some fruit picked at sparkling base ripeness; full solids and selective malolactic fermentation. There’s a real cleverness about that craftsmanship which translates directly into the wine, delivering a smorgasbord of banana cream, lemon and oatmeal aromas, followed by a multi-layered palate of vanilla bean oak, solidsy wildness (complete with a cidery oxidative handling edge without going too far) rich fruit and then tangy acid, the long, creamed peach finish just a little lean but without any sharp edges in sight.
Australian Wine Review
James Halliday (2013 Vintage) says
Super cool-grown chardonnay. Let it speak after you have ejected (or swallowed) the first taste, and let the flavour impact rumble around your mouth, stripping saliva as it gyrates again and again. Conventional measurements or descriptions of the Aladdin's cave of flavours really don't add much: you either get this wine or you don't.
By 2025
Wine Companion

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