Rich Chardonnay and white nectarine stone fruit characters on the nose and throughout the entire palate, with an underlying savoury lift from subtle oak usage. The solids addition and higher fermentation temperature, have added texture and an almost French style 'flintiness' to the wine, making it more complex and interesting. No malolactic fermentation has ensured a balanced and tight wine style with lingering fresh acidity that promises to age well.
Only three of Tyrrell's own vineyards are ever used for the Vat 47 - The HVD (Hunter Valley Distillery) Vineyard which had the original Penfold Clone planted
in 1923, the NVC (New Vine Cuttings) Vineyard that has thirty year old Chardonnay vines and Tyrrell's Short Flat. These vineyards share a common sandy alluvial soil, which imparts a unique clarity of flavour in the fruit that is grown on it.
The 2005 vintage was a result of a season that started with a dry winter that despite late spring rains held back the size of the crop. The vineyard was hit by hail in late December that reduced the crop by a further 25%. The quality of the fruit was maintained, and came to the winery in good health.
The juice was cold settled and racked to stainless steel tanks for partial fermentation and then transferred to French oak barriques to complete fermentation - only one third new, one third one year old, and one third two year old oak. 20% of the barrels are new oak and balance of 80% is older seasoned wood.
This year a portion of the cold settled juice solids was introduced into the ferment to add complexity, texture and strength to the mid palate of the wine. Fermentation temperatures were also slightly higher to add finer structure to the wine and also lengthen the palate. The wine only spends six months in oak for maturation, which is approximately half the time that most Australian Chardonnays spend in barrel.
The Rufus Stone marks the accidental killing of King William Rufus by Sir Walter Tyrell (yes, one 'r' in those days) in 1100 and this historic association has been utilized for Tyrrell's top, non-Hunter regional red wine range.
The grapes used for these wines come from Heathcote, McLaren Vale and the Limestone Coast regions in Australia. These wines allow the winemakers to use red wine styles and oak maturation techniques not normally used for traditional Hunter Valley Reds.