Helio Hawkes Bay Chardonnay, 2019
Residual Sugar: <1g/L
Date harvested: 16th March 2019
Bottle closure: natural cork 45mm (twice tested)
Bottles Produced: 1172
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.
If you could script a perfect season to grow Hawkes Bay Chardonnay, 2019 would be it. A full underground water table was slowly drained over a very dry and long summer, creating the optimal conditions for clean, excellent fruit. The sunshine did the heavy lifting, showcasing Heilo’s full potential.
Every single bunch was handpicked on March 16, 2019 at 22.9 brix, pressed as it was picked in whole bunches with the juice running straight into old French oak barrels.
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. 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 notes Chardonnay 2019
Helio Chardonnay has a hint of reduction on the nose, reminiscent of freshly struck flint. This gives way to juicy stone fruit and a touch of grapefruit. An attractive oyster shell mouth feel gives a pithy texture, paired with cleansing citrus and stone fruit on the palate. You’ll be going back for a second glass before you know it. A long finish of quenching bitterness and a hint of toasted vanilla from the old oak barrels makes for seriously food friendly Chardonnay. Pair with good friends, crayfish, risotto, chargrilled chicken or well seasoned fish.