Buy Pierro Chardonnay 2012
In the words of Jeremy Oliver;
“Pierro is one of the few Australian wineries that could claim to have established a trend that many others have followed. Since the mid-1980s Mike Peterkin has crafted a Chardonnay of not only monumental power, but of simultaneously smooth and silky delivery.
“Pierro Chardonnay is the role model for so many of Australia’s more opulent and hedonistically proportioned chardonnays and is a stunning expression of Margaret River Chardonnay.”
The 2012 vintage was characterised by good winter and spring rains followed by a warm dry summer. Although January was the warmest for a decade there were no extremes of heat and the grapes were not adversely affected. James Halliday describes the vintage as exceptional and very close to the excellent 2011 harvest. Perhaps that's a good way to describe the quality difference between the 2011 and 2012 Pierro Chardonnays – the former 'excellent' the latter merely 'exceptional'. Mike Peterkin may be able to live with that.
There are no secrets to the winemaking for the Pierro Chardonnay. The approach has been refined over the past decade or so to take into account the advances to winemaking which were made possible by the new winery – built in 2000. Mike Peterkin believes that this new technology has improved the ageing potential of the Chardonnay. Whole bunch pressing has lowered its phenolic content. The temperature of each batch of grapes is now lower than before and this has given more delicacy and greater length to the wine. Paying greater attention to the levels of dissolved oxygen and sulphur dioxide during processing and the use of screwcaps, which offer better protection from oxidation, have also contributed to improved ageing.
This white wine is still influenced by Mike Peterkin's philosophy that strongly supports the role of the malolactic fermentation. He believes that this can play a part in improving the flavour and length of palate of Pierro's flagship wine. Likewise, battonage (regular lees stirring of barrels) is seen as vital to the style because it contributes a seamless character and creamy texture to the wine. Barrel fermentation in new (50%) and one year old French barriques remains a constant.
The 2012 Pierro Chardonnay is subtle, restrained and delicate with bright white peach and nectarine flavours and a wonderful mouthfeel, unctuous and viscous with lingering tangy acidity. It is fresh, vibrant and neatly integrated with impressive purity, balance and underlying power.