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96 Points - Cool, Zesty Chardonnay from one of the Mornington Peninsula's Finest

"Sets the pulse racing...oh and a bargain!" - James Halliday 96 points (only a few cases left)

Garagiste La Stagiare Chardonnay 2016

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With a string of eye-watering scores from Eyebrow Trailblazer of the Year (and leading Aussie wine critic) James Halliday, Garagiste is one of the most exciting producers in cool-climate Mornington Peninsula. It's the work of two collaborating winemakers, Barnaby Flanders and Cam Marshall. Flanders’ goal is to work with the best fruit and best vineyard plots in Tuerong and Moorooduc, to the north of the peninsula (sandy soils), the more central sub-regions off Merricks and Merricks North (brown loam/red volcanic soils) and the more elevated and southern Red Hill and Main Ridge (vibrant red volcanic soils). Minimal intervention is the name of the game - top quality fruit left to ferment and age without interference on its lees. The results are invariably good and often stunning. As the scores each vintage from Mr Halliday attest, Garagiste is pretty much as good as Mornington Chardonnay gets. Le Stagiare is its entry-level range but the quality level remains bar-settingly high.

How it's made: 
The fruit (all P58 clone Chardonnay) is hand-sorted in the vineyard. In the winery, after gentle pressing of whole bunches, the cloudy juice is transferred to a mixture of new and old puncheons and fermented using ambient yeasts. The wine is then matured on its lees in barrel for nine months.

Critic note:
"This sets the pulse racing with its linearity, crisp acidity and extraordinary length. But there's a wealth of flavour too - the white stone fruit, citrus zest and juice, the kick of spice and a just the right amount of lees-creamy influence to add another layer of complexity but not weight. Oh and a bargain."
96 points, Halliday Wine Companion 2018
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