White, Ready, but will keep

2013 Michael Hall Chardonnay, Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills

2013 Michael Hall Chardonnay, Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills

White | Ready, but will keep | Michael Hall | Code: 24798 | 2013 | Australia > South Australia > Adelaide Hills | Chardonnay | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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The Producer

Michael Hall

Michael Hall

Englishman Michael Hall’s first career was as a jewellery valuation expert to the top auction houses, but his passion for all his adult life has been wine. After graduating with top honours in Wine Science from Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, and after stints learning the ropes at various top wine estates in Australia and Europe, Michael recently set up his own winery in the Barossa Valley.

His sole objective is to make wines which reflect their individual terroir, and to this end he sources fruit from carefully chosen plots throughout the best wine-producing regions of South Australia to produce small-volume, highly individual wines which are very expressive of their origins. Michael’s stated aim is to make wines which will be “loved by some rather than liked by all”.

The response and critical acclaim has been remarkable. James Halliday and Nick Stock, Australia’s foremost wine critics, have consistently awarded marks in the high 90s.

Moreover, it’s clear that Michael Hall's wines are outstanding representations of the trend, rapidly gathering pace in Australia, and much in favour with us, to champion specific sub-districts and terroirs which are capable of producing wines of exceptional personality, a welcome antidote to the bland , mass-produced offerings which dominate our supermarket shelves.

The Grape

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

The Region

Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills, this up-and-coming South Australian region, may only be half an hour's drive from the city of Adelaide, spanning a 75km by 20km zone, but the change in topography is dramatic, the hot, dusty streets giving way to an elevated maze of verdant, twisting valleys of the Mount Lofty Ranges, offering varying aspects at between 350 and 700 metres.

Naturally, such a cool environment favours early ripening varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Soils are predominantly low, fertile grey loam. The total area is approximately 500 hectares, with a disproportionate number of single wineries. However high land prices deter all but the die-hards.

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