The complexity of the Brut is a natural result of the diversity of sites, varying in altitude, age and aspect. Grapes were sourced from a range of premium cool climate vineyards in the southern wine regions of Australia, including the Yarra Valley, Strathbogie, the King and Buffalo Valleys (Victoria) and Coonawarra (South Australia). Vineyards are planted to various densities depending on the soil type, ranging from 2,222 to 5,000 vines per hectare, with an average yield between 10 and 12 tonnes per hectare. Most of the selected vineyards are trained to the standard vertical shoot positioning trellis to minimise the development of phenolics and tannins whilst maintaining vibrancy of flavour.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir fruit is harvested from mid-February through to March. Batches from each vineyard are kept separate providing the winemaking team with an extensive selection of blending options to optimise complexity and structure. After inoculation with yeast, fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks with approximately 30% of the batches going through malolactic fermentation. In June, the winemaking team assemble the Brut blend selecting each base wine on their individual aroma and flavour characteristics. Up to 80 individual base wines and one to three year old reserve wines are blended to capture the consistent style and complexity inherent in Chandon Brut. While the blend may vary slightly from year to year Chardonnay usualy accounts for around 60% of the blend with the remainder beng Pinot Noir. The reserve wines are stored in a combination of large oak barrels, barriques and stainless steel and comprise more than 20% of the blend, a key element in the Brut style. Following the secondary ferment the wine is aged on the yeast lees for 15 to 18 months, contributing a range of complex, savoury aromas and flavour characteristics to the finished wine. Individual bottles are then riddled and disgorged, and a small amount of dosage liqueur is added to finish the wine. After a further three months of bottle age the wine is ready for release.
The Chandon Brut is straw yellow in colour with flashes of green and a fine persistent bead. A bright and fresh fruit bouquet of citrus blossom, subtle pear and white nectarine combines with savoury characters of roasted nuts and delicate spices. The entry is soft with generous primary fruit characters followed by a creamy mid-palate offering nougat and nectarines extending to a lingering and crisp brut finish.