2015 Nova Vita Firebird Adelaide Hills Chardonnay
Cracka Value Rating
Made by the Kozned family from their vineyard up near Mt Torrens in the Adelaide Hills, this white is like Chardonnay for Goldilocks, with plenty of rich, peach and melon fruit flavours and nutty vanilla oak, all balanced out with a surprisingly crisp finish.
Actually, the editor of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Master of Wine Lisa Perrotti-Brown describes it even better than that: 'The 2015 Chardonnay has a gorgeous honeysuckle, ripe apricot, pink grapefruit and candied ginger scented nose with a touch of toasty / yeastiness. Medium-bodied, the satiny palate offers wonderful intensity with stone fruit, savoury and spice layers, finishing very long.'
Perrotti-Brown gave it 92 points, which is the equivalent of a 95 on the Australian scale and it shows - this is one delicious white wine.
Viticulture: The 2015 growing season was an excellent growing season well suited to the production of fine and elegant Chardonnay. Bud burst was within 7 days of the average throughout the Hills and the season opened with little frost and warm spring days enhancing shoot growth. Moderate to warm temperatures right up to ripening allowed for enhanced flavour development and stress free picking - though a late burst of heat close to harvest certainly made Mark turn even greyer.
Winemaking: Winemaking responsibilities rest with Mark Kozned plus the crew at Revenir Winery with special focus from Chris Parsons. All our wines are made at our Revenir winery located in the Adelaide Hills. The 2015 wine is the 5th vintage of Chardonnay made at the winery which we acquired at the beginning of 2011.
The fruit was handpicked and transported to a cold store to lower fruit temperature prior to pressing. The next morning the bunches were gently whole bunch pressed, de-stemmed and chilled further prior to gentle airbag pressing with only the free run juice retained. At this point we channeled the high-solids crushed juice into “wild”, known technically as indigenous yeast fermentation streams.
All of the wine was matured in French oak barriques with over 30% first fill (brand new) and the balance in 2nd to 4th fill to add complexity and structure to the palate. This is the 2nd vintage we have experimented with large format 500 litre Puncheon French wine barrels and it's been an outstanding success with one of the barrels kept aside for an outstanding Reserve wine (600 bottles only). The wine spent approximately 12 months on yeast lees with regular stirring before being racked and fined in preparation for bottling. We let around 10% of the barrels go through malolactic fermentation to add complexity and palate weight.
The wine displays fragrant lemon zest, fresh white stone fruit aromas and cut apples and pears with a hint of vanilla and brioche plus some match stick aromas (sulfides). The palate is a mix of citrus (in particular lime), white stone fruits, fresh apples and raw almonds with a slightly creamy texture. Barrel fermentation has added some complexity and textural richness, which is balanced by crisp natural acidity.