Really first-rate Chard and terrific value to boot.
Of the Stagiaire Chardonnay, Campbell Mattinson has written, "Every year it's one of the best quality/value propositions on the market". It's worth pointing out that, as for the Pinot Noir, Barney Flanders doesn't make this Chardonnay specifically for the Stagiaire label. All his ferments start as potential single-vineyard wines. Those that end up as single-site wines are barrel selections, and the remaining wines are bottled as Le Stagiaire. This gives us some idea of how this label is able over-deliver year-in, year-out.The 2020 is mostly drawn from Garagiste's Merricks vineyard. Balnarring supplied only a little wine and Tuerong--where Garagiste's yields were draconian--chimed in with just two puncheons. All fruit was hand-sorted in the vineyard and winery, then whole-bunch pressed, with the cloudy juice transferred to 500-litre puncheons to ferment. Across the release, no new oak was used in 2020. It's a racy, juicy expression of the Mornington Peninsula, loaded with Granny Smith and lemon pith fruit and driven, mouth-watering freshness. Will make for fabulous and refreshing summer drinking.
Where this wine comes from - Mornington Peninsula
Another gem that’s part of Melbourne’s ‘Dress Circle’, the maritime climate of Mornington makes it Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Paradise. Sea breezes ensure the vineyards remain cool, ideal for producing styles with elegance and finesse. Red Hill, Merricks and Balnarring is where the main action is, enjoying the see breezes coming off Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. There’s also a vast array of alternative varieties that enjoy the peninsula’s maritime climate. Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris certainly has made its presence felt, producing both clean crisp, easy drinking Grigio styles, as well as richer, riper Gris styles. The whites are made for seafood, while Mornington Pinot Noir is a must with traditional duck dishes – either Chinese style or French.