2021 Patrick Sullivan Ada River Chardonnay11345
REGION: Gippsland, VIC
WINEMAKER: Patrick Sullivan
The Ada River Vineyard was planted in 1982 by the Kelleher family at Neerim South in the foothills of Mount Baw Baw, Gippsland. The site comprises uniform volcanic soils, which run deep into basalt rock. Clonal selection is kept to P58 and I10V1 Chardonnay with the total plantings to chardonnay being just on a hectare. The vineyard sits at an elevation of 300m and has the fortune of 360-degree windbreaks, which limit the at-times harsh winds pushing from the snow fields. The vineyard is 100% dry grown, which is evident from the intense fruit concentration.
Whole clusters were crushed into the press and drained off into tank for settling. Primary fermentation took place in barrique (30% new) over three weeks, followed by complete malolactic. Lees stirring occurred twice toward the end of primary, then once more at the completion of malo. Powerful with lifted citrus, melon and brioche. Peach and citrus with deep length and minerality.
Farmer-winemaker Patrick Sullivan can do it all. From tending to vines in rural Victoria at just age 12 on a school excursion to picking up a degree in viticulture, Patrick has now settled in West Gippsland. Farming biodynamically alongside the iconic Bill Downie, his "Tumblestone Farm" property consists of 69 hectares of ultra close-spacing vineyards (7000 vines/ha - woof) nestled amongst an acacia forest. Sitting on basalt volcanic soils over sandstone at the base of the Strzelecki Ranges, Patrick's wines are electric, inspired and truly world class.