Ministry of Clouds Chardonnay 2017, Tasmania, Australia
Ministry of Clouds is a virtual winery, where Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood seek out the best old vine plots from across Australia to make terroir-focussed wines.
This is simply a brilliant Australian Chardonnay from this wonderful producer. A wine loved by critics vintage after vintage.
Enjoy now, or if you have amazing willpower, allow it to develop further over the next 5 years or so.
We continue our obsession with Chardonnay, drinking and thinking about the best examples of this grape that we can find. Though we applaud the fine, flinty and cordite-laden styles that the best Australian wines exhibit, we also love the balanced intensity and power evident in the best of Burgundy.
To this end, this wine is sourced from an exquisite 36 year old north easterly facing vineyard sitting 75 meters above the Derwent River, and supplemented by fruit from a prominent Coal River vineyard. All fruit was handpicked then whole bunch pressed to old barrels for ferment. Post fermentation, all barrels were topped and sulphured to prevent MLF and retain natural acidity. Lees were lightly stirred only for the early part of maturation to build texture and complexity. Matured in old oak for 11 months.
A pure and tightly wound wine showing the muscle and intensity of the low yielding Derwent Valley site, and the fineness and acid line synonymous with the Coal River Valley. A shy and somewhat restraint nose exuding white flowers, peach, nectarine characters, and subtle hints of nougat and wood spice. On the palate, a bedrock of chalky minerality supports a core of intense stone fruit, framing its lingering acidity.
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What the critics say:
It's round and supple in the mouth, but with enough minerally acidity to balance the nutty, exotic fruit. Long, complex and exciting. Tasted by Tina Gellie for Decanter at Victoria House, London, 23 Jan 2018 93 points (2016 vintage).
Drinking Window 2018 - 2025
Vibrant aromas of honeysuckle and wild flowers are followed by lean stone fruit and pineapple on the palate and a zesty, refreshing finish. (2016 vintage). Decanter. 88-92 points.