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For those who seek taught, finely boned Chardonnay of balance and precision, this will satisfy your thirst. The 2016 Soumah Hexham Chardonnay was grown on a small portion of the Soumah vineyard in the Gruyere sub-region of the Yarra Valley. It's built to be a leaner style than many from the region, particularly from the warmer and earlier than usual 2016 vintage. It was picked early, treated gently, every effort taken in the winery by Scott McCarthy to maintain the elegance and finesse of a true premium Chardonnay style. This was the champion wine at the 2017 International Cool Climate Wine Show, taking out three trophies in its triumphant outing.
What it Tastes Like
"It’s an austere style. Minimalist. It’s highly enclosed and reductive with pure grapefruit, steel and subtle lactose/woodsmoke characters showing the barest of glimpses. It’s white wine as origami, its arms and legs folded in on themselves. It’s either too clever by halves or highly sophisticated; you have to sit with it and decide for yourself. Winemaker Scott McCarthy says he’s looking to make chardonnay with “great pristine fruit flavours, fine acid, oak, light creaminess. It all has to be there, but all in moderation and in the lightest wine possible”. The wine embodies the intension. I’m sitting on the fence a little." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
97 points - Top Gold, Best Chardonnay, Best White Wine in Show & Best Wine in Show. - 2017 International Cool Climate Wine Show 92 points. "It’s an austere style. Minimalist. It’s highly enclosed and reductive with pure grapefruit, steel and subtle lactose/woodsmoke characters showing the barest of glimpses. It’s white wine as origami, its arms and legs folded in on themselves. It’s either too clever by halves or highly sophisticated; you have to sit with it and decide for yourself. Winemaker Scott McCarthy says he’s looking to make chardonnay with “great pristine fruit flavours, fine acid, oak, light creaminess. It all has to be there, but all in moderation and in the lightest wine possible”. The wine embodies the intension. I’m sitting on the fence a little." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
Its about flavour and balance and its about structure and finesse. The delicate yet complex bouquet displays a struck match character with a fresh and vibrant grapefruit and citrus palate melded with cashew and minerality. There is a clean finish of great length. The wine will mature well for at least 10 years. The Yarra Valley is one of the best regions in Australia for Chardonnay. Our goal is simple; add to that reputation with our definitive vineyard site coupled with the finest clones to create a modern age, premium Chardonnay. The fruit was gently pressed and the juice fermented in barriques and puncheons with 100% wild yeast. Some early battonage is used to create structure and finesse. The wine was then matured on lees for eight months with 20% of the barrels being new and allowed a secondary fermentation.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2026
About the Producer
Soumah’s iconic “duck egg blue” label has become synonymous with Yarra Valley quality. They produce small amounts of high-quality Yarra Valley staple varieties including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah but one of their more interesting preoccupations is with the much talked about Savagnin grape. As they continue to push the envelope of their winemaking capabilities and drill down into the nuance to be found in clonal selection, they are steadily raising their standing amongst the best producers in the Region.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
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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