Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia
Fowles Wine vineyards and winery are located in the dramatic granite landscape of Strathbogie Ranges region of Victoria, Australia. The Strathbogie Ranges is characterized by massive granite boulders – the very boulders that have given rise, over millions of years, to the sandy loam soils in which the vines grow.
The fruit for this wine was harvested from a single block of the estate owned Upton Run vineyard in the Strathbogie Ranges. Block 16 at Upton Run is 24 acres, planted in 1998 to the Bernard clone of Chardonnay. The site is northwest facing and gently sloping with an elevation of 1,550 feet. The fruit for this wine was harvested in the evening of February 25.
Vintage Comments: 2016 was one of the ten warmest years on record in Victoria. Rainfall was very low. This combination of conditions produced a year of moderate yields and early ripening.
The grapes were crushed with open rollers to minimize phenolic extraction to help create a more delicate wine. A number of old-world winemaking techniques were used to make this wine, including oxidative juice handling and fermentation in barrel on the lees. These methods not only encourage the integration of primary fruit and oak flavors, they add texture and complexity to the wine. This wine was fermented between 61° – 74°F with around half wild fermented by the natural and ambient yeasts present on the fruit and in the winery. Wild yeast fermentation adds a layer of complexity because it often produces wines that are more textural. A small component of this wine underwent malolactic fermentation. This wine was fermented and matured using new (30%) and old (70%) French oak of varying sizes, including hogsheads (300 liters), puncheons (500 liters) and barrels (600 liters) with lees stirring.
90 points – Vinous Media