Shaw + Smith, `M3` Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2019 Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
Established in 1989 by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW, Shaw + Smith's aim is to make contemporary, high quality wines that stand among the best of their type in Australia. The wines are made exclusively from fruit grown in the Adelaide Hills, one of Australia's coolest and most exciting regions. Shaw + Smith specialise in grape varieties suited to cooler climates, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and also make outstanding wines from Shiraz and Pinot Noir.
Fruit was predominantly sourced from the Shaw + Smith vineyard at Lenswood, which was planted in 1999 and purchased by Martin and Michael in 2012. Undulating with east- and west-facing aspects at 455 - 500 metres above sea level, the soils are brown loams over clay with broken shale on the ridges. Low yields were achieved by vigorous pruning and pre-harvest bunch thinning. All fruit was hand picked to avoid any fruit damage.
The 2019 growing season was one that challenged even the most experienced and well-equipped vignerons. Hot and dry conditions in January and February were partly mitigated by good canopy management. Yields were down, owing to the cold and wet period during flowering, and bunches developed with berries of different sizes. The small crops of fruit produced showed wonderful flavour and intensity, and natural acidity, despite the warm, dry summer.
The grapes were chilled overnight, whole-bunch pressed, and then fermented in French oak barriques and puncheons, a third of which were new. The wine was matured for nine months in oak with some lees stirring, followed by two months in tank on lees prior to bottling.
This wine opens with intense aromas of white flowers and lemon blossom. Typically, the 'M3' shows citrus and nectarine notes. Aiming for elegance, restraint and the ability to age, the acidity is bright and there is generosity of flavour.
SILVER - International Wine Challenge 2020