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St John's Road

PL Eden Valley Chardonnay

Wild Yeast.
Reversed Ferment
EDEN VALLEY

Winemaker Phil Lehmann has spent many years refining his winemaking techniques for cool climate Chardonnay. Fermentation is conducted in new and one-year-old French oak Hogsheads, with the wine remaining on solids for ten months with regular stirring and topping. In order to slow the fermentation (thus building complexity and structure and retaining aromatics), the oak is held in a 2ºC cool room with wild yeast strains allowed to drive the process. However, in reverse order to standard practice, sixty percent of the blend goes through malolactic fermentation before the alcohol ferment to tighten structure, avoid buttery characters and enhance varietal flavour. The result is complex, full-flavoured, elegant Chardonnay; one of Phil’s greatest passions.

RRP AU$30.00 | ORDER NOW

Vintages and Tasting notes
2014 | 2015
(Click to download PDF)

Wine Press and Accolades

2015 PL Chardonnay: 92 points – Halliday Wine Companion 2018 – Aug 2017

“Mlf was induced before the primary fermentation, the object being to retain freshness and crispness, thereafter French oak maturation at a controlled low temperature to enhance the tightness of structure. Shows quality cool climate varietal character, with citrus and just-ripe stone fruit aromas supported by restrained fruit and oak flavours with admirable tautness of mouthfeel and length.”

2015 PL Chardonnay: 90 points - Toni Paterson - The Real Review – Oct 2016

Phil Lehmann is one of the rising stars of our industry, producing thoroughly modern wines that have wide appeal. This wine has his thumbprints all over it. Going against the conventional practice, a portion of the blend undergoes malolactic conversion pre-fermentation rather than post. Oak fermentation occurs with wild yeast strains, and lees ageing occurs for ten months. The result it a weighty chardonnay with intense flavours and softness. It is lively, though utterly harmonious, with reserve on the nose and zesty lemon butter and gentle peach characters on the palate. The acidity is bright and juicy, but not at all sour, and there’s an overall gentleness to the wine.

2015 PL Chardonnay: 94 Points – Tony Keys - The Key Report – Sep 2016

“Phil Lehmann is destined to join the greats of Australian winemaking. In my opinion he is already there, but there is still a conservative streak in the industry, even among younger members. Anyhow, this chardonnay is a master stroke of winemaking (follow the link to the website for the detail), with tight and intense flavours that will fill out a little as the wine develops. It’s $30 and I’ve drunk white burgundy at three times the price not as fine as this wine. 94 points. ”

2015 PL Chardonnay: Ben Canaider - The Spectator Australia – Sep 2016

“Wild yeast. Reversed ferment, adds the label of this super-deluxe yet elegant chardonnay – and the fact the vines are in the groovy Eden Valley. Wild yeast is nowadays as loved as it is understood. You don’t use a packet yeast, but Nature’s own microflora. It makes wine with more than je ne sais quoi; indeed, think of the difference between homemade sourdough bread and shop stuff. Reversed ferment is a trickier proposition, however, particularly for my muddled mind. What it means is that 60 per cent of the wine goes through malolactic fermentation before the alcohol fermentation. It’s usually the other way around. The advantage of the reversed method? Structure is firmly framed, with the texture and richness normally associated with malolactic fermentation more understated. I can’t understand – nor can Phil Lehmann – why more winemakers don’t try it. Oh, and this wine’s so assured that it wants a roasted poussin or a tiny two-point rack of pork for luncheon. I found Tuesday luncheon best, as I like to live it up a bit at the end of my working week. ”

2015 PL Chardonnay: 90 points – Huon Hooke - Hooked on Wine – Aug 2016

“The bouquet has a subtle dairy aspect, with a trace of caramel and vanilla, the palate tightly structured and clean, with intensity and persistence. It’s restrained but has a pleasingly long finish. Focused, intense, taut. ”

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