Helio Hawkes Bay Chardonnay, 2021

Tech Specs:
PH: 3.37
TA: 6.46
Alc: 13.5%
Residual Sugar: <1g/L
Date harvested: 6th March 2021
Bottle closure: natural cork 45mm (twice tested)
Bottles Produced: 4,600

Helio Chardonnay is grown on a north facing mid-slope, single vineyard on the Heretaunga plains. The infertile, free-draining, ancient riverbed soil is constructed of gravel and loess making for a divine struggle where the vines compete for nutrition and create the perfect fruit concentration. The average age of the clone 15 Chardonnay vines is quarter of a century. Like humans, vines really start to come of age at 25 years old, and just get better from there.

Small vintage both in martinborough and hawkes bay due to unsettled weather at flowering.  It was a drier-than-average season, but the moderate summer meant vines had balance without excessive vigor.  Harvest weather was very favourable meaning fruit was harvested at desired ripeness with exceptional quality – this just might be Helio’s most exciting vintage yet.

The 2021 Chardonnay was handpicked on March 6, 2021 at 22.3 brix.

The wine was left to ferment naturally. The cool wild fermentation lasted about 3 weeks.  Following our minimal intervention ethos, the wine entered natural malolactic fermentation on its own accord and was aged for 10 months in mainly old french barrels. We intentionally bottled with no fining and minimal filtration.

A touch of SO2 was added at bottling to protect 24 months of work and ensure maximum enjoyment when opening for many years to come.

Tasting note
Very delicate in colour, almost antique white gold in the glass.  Light and refreshing on the nose with a bright chalkiness we always find in Helio.  Lime citrus leads in some fresh light and crunchy stone fruit aromatics.  Very precise on the palate with a liner acid line of limey citrus and white peach.  The refreshing high acid is perfectly paired with the fine grained pithy white tanning profile that gives this wine a very long finish, grip and texture.