Garagiste Tuerong Chardonnay 2021
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Tuerong is the oldest site that Barney works (planted in the late ‘80s). The Chardonnay here is always picked first, providing a barometer for the progression of the rest of the vintage.
Tuerong is back on board after a brief hiatus. This site is always first cab off the rank for picking at Garagiste, and can be harvested as early as two weeks before Merricks—highlighting the impact of aspect for grape growing on the Peninsula. Like the Merricks Chardonnay, this was hand-harvested, hand-sorted and whole-bunch pressed, followed by natural primary fermentation with high levels of solids in François Frères 500-litre puncheons (20% new). A small portion went through natural malolactic fermentation and the wine then rested on full gross lees for 10 months before bottling.
The 2021 Tuerong Chardonnay is almost athletic in expression—lithe and elegant but not lacking in lean muscle. It’s saline and mineral driven, with pithy grapefruit and summer citrus rippling through a tightly coiled structure. There’s a doughy/leesy character that lends complexity and mouthfeel, and the balance struck here with the mineral and citric drive is on point. It finishes with power and drive.