Chardonnay may be Gareth Belton's specialty variety. He has perfected a beautiful approach to crafting these single vineyard expressions of the variety from across the Adelaide Hills.
His methodology is a simple one. Whole bunch pressing to tank for settling overnight before racking off solids to barrel. The wine spent 11 months in French and Austrian oak, 25% new. Full malolactic fermentation. Bottled under natural cork sealed with wax.
The idea behind this simple approach allows the differences in the vineyards he works with to shine. The Ashton Chardonnay is the richer of the three releases this year, with a little more generosity on show as a young wine. Though, in the context of modern Adelaide Hils Chardonnay, it's on the lighter end of the spectrum, this is a beautiful, elegantly crafted wine that shows Adelaide Hills Chardonnay in a delicious light.
Vineyard: Ric’s, Ashton (Estate)
Variety: Chardonnay Clone: i10v1
Soils: Light loamy clay over sandstone with extensive schist and quartz rubble
Production: 100 dozen
What you can expect:
Bright salmon hue, with a touch of cloudiness — as can be expected from a pét-nat. Very little effervescence. Vibrant apricot, guava and peach on the nose, with hints of strawberries and a hint of white pepper. Really juicy and fruity, succulent and aromatic in the mouth. Dry and quite textured as a pét-nat. Exuberant, quenching, and super easy to drink. Dangerously delicious: one might easily forget this is an alcoholic beverage.
About Gentle Folk | Australia
Gareth Belton is a seaweed scientist. As a PhD holder, in fact Gareth Belton and his wife Rainbo are two of Australia’s foremost seaweed experts. They also happen to now run a small winery in the Basket Range sub-region of the Adelaide Hills, where they make some of the purest and finest wines in the state. They farm 3 vineyards in the hills, all organically, and make wines that are unencumbered by artifice and often without any preservatives. They are clean wines, with pure fruit and a natural zestiness to them. These are cult happy natural wines quite impossible to locate anywhere as production is so tiny and the wines so well loved.