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Leconfield Coonawarra was established in 1974 by noted oenologist, Sydney Hamilton. During a winemaking career spanning nearly 60 years, Sydney was highly regarded for his contribution to the industry. At the age of 76, Sydney Hamilton still yearned to make a classic Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and set himself the task of finding the right district in which to establish his own vineyard and winery – and Leconfield Coonawarra was established.
Today Leconfield’s winemaking direction is driven by highly regarded winemaker, Paul Gordon. Leconfield Cabernet Sauvignon has established itself as one of the most distinctive on the Australian market and has a dedicated following throughout Australia and around the world. The Merlot is meticulously selected so that the small volume released each year is extremely sought after and is regarded as one of the best examples in the district.
Coonawarra had an excellent vintage in 2019. Above average rainfall in winter, November and December provided the moisture needed to sustain the vines through what was otherwise a much drier than average growing and ripening season. Above average temperatures in late February and early March saw veraison complete and set the course for even ripening leading up to vintage.
Harvest dates were in line with long term averages with whites ready in mid-March and reds from late March to mid-April. Fruit flavour is a stand out with good natural soft acidity in Riesling and Chardonnay and medium to full body in reds which show both power and elegance.
The 2019 Chardonnay was harvested in the cool of the morning of 27th February with temperatures of 7-10 deg C and immediately pressed. Juice was oxidatively handled to stabilise the green colour and filled immediately to French oak as pressing ensued. Most of the resulting wine is from free run juice although 6% of lightly pressed wine was ultimately included. Natural ferment began after three-four days.
When the wine was approaching dryness, it was inoculated with a selected yeast strain to ensure fermentation completion. Malo-lactic fermentation had completed in some barrels simultaneously with the primary fermentation. The lees were stirred in barrel from time to time during the wine’s eight month maturation (8 months 100% French oak – 35% new, 12% 1 yo, 53% 4 year old). The resulting wine has excellent persistence and mouth feel, while preserving its stone fruit aromas.
Ripe nectarine fruits overlaid with complexed yeast aromas and a subtle background of vanilla from French oak fermentation. Medium body with persistent long stone-fruit flavours finishing with a bright, fine, mineral acidity.
This Chardonnay is excellent partnered with aubergine lasagne, seared Atlantic salmon, or a Mediterranean inspired salad.