96 Points | James Halliday Wine Companion 2020
From mature, low yielding Gingin clone vines. The colour is full straw-green, the bouquet and palate very complex and energetic with grapefruit riding shotgun over a subtext of melon, fig and peach.
At the Hay Shed Hill vineyard, which is very close to the Indian Ocean, we experienced a warm and dry winter, which meant that the vines never deeply entered dormancy as soil temperature stayed reasonably high leading to a very early budburst in last August for Chardonnay. Spring in Wilyabrup can be quite wild with wet and windy conditions which can be devastating during the grapevine flowering period. And so it proved this season with hail, wind and heavy rain during the critical flowering period leading to the lowest fruit set for Chardonnay that I have seen in twenty five years in Margaret River and subsequent very low crop levels. The season itself was a perfect as could be hoped with Chardonnay at Hay Shed Hill harvest very early in January.
Only the best ‘free run’ component of the juice was used resulting in the finest and brightest fruit expression with the least amount of phenolic impact. The juice was fermented in French oak barriques; 30% new with the balance being one, two and three years old, before maturing in barriques for a further 10 months. No lees stirring or malolactic fermentation occurred, preserving and highlighting the purity of fruit expression. The wine expresses the character of this superb vineyard in an elegant and restrained style that is bright, vibrant and fresh in its youth and will benefit from medium-term cellaring.
The Hay Shed Hill vineyard is situated on a picturesque property that was established as a group settlement farm for returned soldiers from the First World War. Known as Sussex Vale the property was originally a dairy farm. The current homestead, considerably renovated, still has much of the original Group Settlement look and feel. Vines were first planted in the early 1970s. In the late 1980s the vineyard was bought by the Morrison Family and the wine brand Hay Shed Hill was established taking its name from the local reference to the hay shed located on the property. The sister label, Pitchfork, was developed to complement the single vineyard Hay Shed Hill label. A series of ownership changes saw numerous alterations to labels, wine style and distribution until the current group of partners bought back the farm and the brand in late 2006 and returned to the original concept of producing wine with integrity that expresses the quality of the site.
12% alc vol
|Units of Alcohol per Bottle
|For immediate enjoyment