Viticulture: Lutte raisonee/sustainable
Situated on a flat just across the gully from Doug’s Vineyard, Cope-Williams was planted in 1982 (its original incarnation was 1977) at 490m altitude on deep, free draining red basalt loam. Unirrigated since 1988, this site delivers fruit with powerful intensity and incredibly fine balance.
Again, due to the cool, windy nature of the site, the fruit typically ripens at a low sugar level, with small berries, thick skins and with a high proportion of millerandange and hen and chicken.
Once hand harvested in the cool of morning, with carful sorting in the vineyard, the grapes are partially foot crushed then very gently, slowly pressed over five or so hours.The juice was then settled for 24 hours then racked with all but the very coarse solids to three seasoned Burgundian piece, and one new 300l Stockinger Hogs Head.
The wine sees one year in oak on full lees, no stirring, and no racking, then transferred to stainless steel with all the fine lees for a further 6 months elevage. Before racking and bottling, unfined and unfiltered, a small dose of sulphur the only addition.
As is typical of my chardonnays the Cope-Williams opens with feint crushed stone and snuffed match aromas, slowly revealing green apple and grapefruit pith, white flowers and flashes of green almond and feijoa. An incredibly intense and linear wine the persistent fruit is cleansed by a seemingly endless flow of glassy acidy. A long decant is recommended if drinking young, but cellaring is recommended.
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