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Shaw + Smith is an alliance between cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill-Smith. Their aim is to make contemporary, high quality wines that are outstanding examples of their type made from grapes grown in the Adelaide Hills. Shaw + Smith specialise in grape varieties suited to the cooler climate of the Adelaide Hills, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay & Shiraz.
The Adelaide Hills produces some of Australia’s finest Chardonnay. Since its first release with vintage 2000, M3 Chardonnay has quickly established a reputation amongst Australia’s finest. The M3 Vineyard was planted in 1995 and takes its name from owners Martin Shaw, Michael and Matthew Hill Smith. Source is 100% Adelaide Hills, predominately from Shaw + Smith’s M3 Vineyard at Woodside plus selected blocks of new Dijon selection Chardonnay. Low yields achieved by aggressive pruning and pre harvest bunch thinning. Hand picked to avoid fruit damage.
Whole bunches chilled overnight prior to pressing. Barrel fermentation in new, one, and two year old French barriques. 100% wild yeast fermentation plus partial malolactic fermentation for complexity and mouth-feel. Nine months in barrique, lees stirred weekly to build complexity. Special care is taken not to over oak the wine, maintaining fruit integrity. With orange blossom, lemon peel, and nectarine aromas, the impression on the nose is very much of freshness and purity. There is a seamlessness to the palate, with malo and oak both virtually imperceptible. On the palate the lively fruit drives through to the finish, with just a touch of creaminess and nutty complexity in the mid-palate.
M3 now comes from selected sites over the Adelaide Hills, not from the vineyard previously called M3. Pale straw-green; it may be autosuggestion, but this has great freshness, vibrancy and finesse, the flavours pitched halfway between white peach/stone fruit on the one hand, grapefruit/citrus on the other. Obviously fermented in French oak, but is not obviously oaky. Drink by: 2023; Price: $46.00; Date Tasted: Sept 2016; Alcohol: 13%; Rating: 97 Points & Special Value Star; James Halliday Wine Companion



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