2021 Devil’s Corner Chardonnay
May 2023 Selection
From the cool-climate high-quality vineyards in Tasmania that produce grapes with excellent fruit intensity, comes this delightful chardonnay that had minimal contact with the grape skins and was fermented in 85% stainless-steel tanks to produce a wine with purity of fruit and a pristine acidity that offers youthful and zingy citrus flavors of lemon and grapefruit and a creamy mouthfeel and a lovely zesty finish.
Devil's Corner in Tasmania — one of the southernmost wine regions in the world — is known for producing high-quality cool-climate wines. Tasmania's cool climate and fertile soils, combined with the winery's focus on minimal-intervention winemaking techniques, result in wines that are complex, elegant, and expressive of their terroir. Devil's Corner's Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are particularly noteworthy, and the winery has received numerous awards and accolades for its wines.
Intrepid sailors navigating Tasmania’s Tamar River discovered a treacherous bend and named it Devil’s Corner. Beyond the tumultuous waters they found an amazing sanctuary, where still waters rewarded their navigational efforts. Their courage in pursuing this sanctuary is celebrated in this truly cool-climate, finely crafted wine from exceptional Tasmanian terroir.
The Devil’s Corner winery is also committed to sustainable winemaking practices, including using renewable energy, water conservation, and organic farming practices. It also has a solar array that provides 40% of the energy needs of the winery.
The East Coast of Tasmania has cold nights and warm, mild days. The ocean protects the region from extreme weather including frosts during the growing period. The weather here usually arrives from the west, and that leaves the Devil’s Corner vineyard in a rain shadow for most of the year, resulting in low yields with intense fruit intensity in the grapes.
This 100% chardonnay was sourced from vineyards in the Tamar Valley and the Hazard Vineyard on the East Coast of Tasmania. The weather for the 2021 vintage was typical of this region resulting in grapes with excellent fruit intensity. After harvest the juice had minimal contact with the skins. Fermentation on solids in stainless steel tanks was used on 85% of the wine, while 15% was fermented in barrels. The wine then spent 3 months in seasoned French oak puncheons (a 132-gallon barrel) where it underwent 100% malolactic fermentation to give it a creamy character.
The resulting wine is described by winemakers Joel Tilbrook and Tom Wallace thus: “The hallmark of this Chardonnay is its purity of fruit and pristine acidity. The nose opens up with zesty melon aromas alongside ripe nectarine. The palate is fresh and youthful with zingy citrus flavors of lemon and grapefruit. There’s some subtle creaminess on the palate from the neutral oak, with a lovely zesty finish.”
The creamy texture and long finish make this a wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a wide variety of dishes. The winemakers recommend pairing this wine with smoked salmon topped with creamy mayonnaise with capers or a ripe camembert with apples.
The 2021 Devil’s Corner Chardonnay was awarded 93 points by the Wine Spectator, and the wine has a cellaring potential of about four years.