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When making wine exclusively from your own vineyard you only get to play one hand each year.
In 2016, Tod and Debbie Dexter were dealt a Royal Flush.
Tod says 2016 was “a near perfect vintage” for the Mornington Peninsular. The Chardonnay ambling its way to perfect ripeness, the wine sings of a year when everything just went right.
His is a Chardonnay for an occasion, a Chardonnay to be shared with other lovers of the variety, a Chardonnay to be cracked when converting shouters of the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) warcry.
Or consumed quietly on your own… Depends how generous you are feeling, really…
What It Tastes Like
This is elegance incarnate. Lemon, grapefruit and pithy notes run along the mineral spine. It’s smooth and even in flow, glassy texture supported by glorious oak and a hint of sulphide reduction. Gee this is good Chardonnay. Fantastic premium Chardonnay, and a bargain at that.
95 points “Sweet citrus and nectarine, mint fudge, wheatgerm, and a little spice and struck match. Medium bodied, with a light creamy gloss to flavour and texture, though driven by a juicy burst of citrus for the most part, running flinty on the long finish, perhaps a little preserved lemon lingering in the aftertaste. It’s smooth, flinty, flavoursome and refined all at once. You stay classy Tod Dexter.”
- Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
Vintage Notes: After a winter of moderate rain and temperatures the vines moved steadily to flowering some 4-5 days earlier than average. Rainfall throughout the growing season was lower than average and there were no extended heat events. The ripening period resulted in the grapes maturing smoothly to sugar and flavour ripeness. Harvest was 7-9 days earlier than the average of recent seasons, even with a larger than average crop load. In summary the season has produced ripeness early but with bright fruit flavours, nice structure and good acid balance.
Winemaking: Hand-picked fruit was gently whole-bunch pressed into a tank and settled overnight. It was then transferred into French oak barriques and puncheons (26% New, 13% second use, 15% third use and 46% older) and inoculated with a neutral yeast. From May until late winter the barrels were stirred every two weeks until MLF was completed. For this vintage 40% completed MLF. The wine was left on yeast lees until November when it was transferred to tank to prepare for bottling. The wine was late Dec 2016, 8 months after harvest.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2022
About the Producer
Tod and Debbie Dexter planted their vineyard in Merricks, Mornington Peninsular in 1987. After a jaunt to Burgundy in 2000, Tod decided he wanted something more. After helping establish the formidable reputation of Stonier wines with Brian Stonier, and a time with Mornington icon Yabby Lake, at the age of 50, his own project, Dexter wines, came to be. The wines have received consistent critical acclaim and remain to this day one of the Peninsular’s most loved labels by those who seek the best Pinot and Chardonnay in the region.
The Mornington Peninsula has become a go-to destination for lovers of modern Australian Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Mornington’s perfect climatic conditions for producing these varieties has seen it become, in only a relatively short time, one of the premier regions for these varieties in the country. The wines are beautiful. The best examples are wines which show a restrained power. Both intensity and elegance. It’s a region which will continue to blossom and mature for many years to come.
Australian Chardonnay is a seductive variety that comes in all shapes and sizes. From the toasty and voluptuous to the lean, flinty and minerally, there is a Chardonnay out there to suit everyone. Australia’s developing prowess with this variety has been marked by the international community with wine writers such as Jancis Robinson marvelling at the outstanding value to be had right across the country. The prestige brands of Margaret River offer wines of deep flavour and power, often crafting fuller-figured Chardonnay of outstanding quality. The cooler-climate wines from the Yarra Valley, Tasmania and the like are more focused and linear, building complexity around a backbone of pristine acidity. Whatever your preference, there is an Australian Chardonnay to enchant all comers.
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