We pick our Four O’clock Chardonnay at night, or early in the morning to keep the grapes cool and help jolly along the delicate nectarine and stone fruit characters and not lose them. Joch and the team make this wine in batches so we end up with different components when it comes time to put the wine together and bottle it. We get our Chardonnay from 3 different (organic) blocks on the vineyards, so each batch brings its own peculiarities of site with it to the mix. We try our very hardest to keep the ferment away from oxygen, and the grapes undergo a cool ferment in stainless steel tanks. We don’t allow the wine to go through the secondary malolactic fermentation, because we want to protect the natural acidity.
2015 was a great white year in McLaren Vale (no shark pun intended) – the wine shows length, balance and freshness with citrus and stone fruit and a hint of pineapple. This wine shows so much flavour and character for a wine that is completely unoaked. ‘Four o’clock’ is pretty versatile, too; great as an aperitif (don’t serve too chilled) and wonderful with a range of foods: roast chicken and mushroom risotto is my standard food matching suggestion.