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Place of Changing Winds Larderdark Chardonnay 2021

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    Place of Changing Winds is a high-density vineyard located on the southern foothills of Mount Macedon in central Victoria, Australia. The name comes from the original inhabitants, the Wurundjeri people, who named this place Warekilla or Place of Changing Winds. This description still holds true today. Place of Changing Winds make two sets of wines: Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their own vines, and Syrah and Marsanne from two grower vineyards.

    The Estate wines comes exclusively from Place of Changing Winds property. The altitude is 500 metres above sea level and the vines are surrounded by native plantings and thousands of hectares of forest. It’s a genuinely cool site, with good rain, cold nights and a wide diurnal range. One of the most distinctive features of our vineyard is the high density. There are almost 45,000 vines planted across 3.1 hectares, with densities of mostly 12,000 and 14,000 vines per hectare, but also significant plots at 20,000, 25,000 and 33,000 vines per hectare. The team at Place of Changing Winds have developed a system of agronomic practice that is adapted specifically to their winery. It is a meticulous viticulture with no synthetic chemicals used and a great deal of manual labour. The cellar is also next to the vines, meaning the fruit goes directly to the fermenters in a matter of minutes. They manage everything on site ourselves, including bottling. The Estate Series wines, then, reflect both the vineyards and our their compromise approach.

    Place of Changing Winds also produces Syrah and Marsanne from two vineyards further north. One vineyard is located in the Heathcote region, on the famed red ‘Cambrian’ soils of the Mt Camel Ranges. This is a considerably warmer site than their own vineyard and lies about 130km north of the cellars. The second vineyard is in Harcourt, 85km to the north. Harcourt is cooler than Heathcote, yet still warmer than their Estate, and the soils here are pure, granitic sands. Place of Changing Winds was awarded the best new winery of the year 2022 by James Halliday.

    Larderdark is the historical name of the forest that surrounds Place of Changing Winds. In 2021, only a minuscule 564kg of Chardonnay was harvested but with incredible quality worthy of being the first release under this label.

    The terrible yields were thanks to frost and difficult flowering and the grapes were finally harvested on April 7th, foot stomped and immediately pressed as hard as possible to extract every drop of juice from the thick-skinned, tiny berries. The must was then sent straight to barrel with all its solids and fermentation occurred in a two-year-old Dominique Laurent 228lt and even older barrique. The wine was racked to a two-year-old Stockinger hogshead (300lt) for eighteen months of aging, with the balance being kept aside in a small topping tank. Malo was allowed to proceed naturally and completed very late. An exceptional wine has resulted from all these details; rich and deep, yet with great acidity and impact. It is complex and powerful in every way.

    This wine is utterly, magnificently intense and complex, the mouthfeel is exceptional, at first almost fleshy before saliva, aided by acidity, carves a concealed passage and you only realise the wine has disappeared when the glass is indeed empty. - James Halliday, 99 Points

    The Finer Details
    Style - White Wine
    Varietal - Chardonnay
    Country - Australia
    Region - Heathcote, Victoria
    Vintage - 2021
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 13.9%
    Other - Organic