Like all of Mandala’s wines, this is a lovely combination of New World fruit and Old World structure and complexity. The fruit leans toward bright, fresh citrus with underlying savoury, salty minerality. Mid-weight with bright acids and wonderful texture, reminiscent of good quality Macon from a warm vintage.
Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted, with the most highly regarded expressions of the variety coming from Burgundy and California. Climate plays a major role in dictating which fruit flavours a Chardonnay will have. Broadly speaking, warm regions such as California tend to give more tropical styles. While many Chardonnays have high aromatic complexity, this is usually due to winemaking techniques (particularly the use of oak) rather than the variety’s intrinsic qualities. Malolactic fermentation gives distinctive buttery aromas. Fermentation and/or maturation in oak barrels contributes notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of sweet spices such as clove and cinnamon. Extended lees contact while in barrel imparts biscuity, doughy flavours.
The Yarra Valley is a well-respected Australian wine region which occupies the eastern half of the Port Phillip viticultural zone in the diminutive state of Victoria. One of Australia’s oldest and most celebrated wine regions, the earliest Yarra Valley vineyards were planted in 1838. The climate here is amongst the coolest of any Australian wine region, partly due to elevation—which reaches 500 masl—but mostly due to the hilly topography, which creates shadows, shelter and heat sink.
The Dixon Creek vineyard is the homestead for Mandala. The 104 acre vineyard averages elevations of 125-160 masl. Comprised of clay loam soil, the vines, averaging 25 years, are hand-pruned, hand-harvested and low yield.
Grapes are hand-harvested and fermented via indigenous yeasts in a combination of older French oak and stainless steel tanks. Unfined, unfiltered.