Wild Cape in Focus: Chardonnay
Wild Cape is a collaboration between Ocean Photographer Andrew Semark and Evans & Tate Senior Winemaker Matt Byrne.
The vision behind Wild Cape is to celebrate the raw beauty of Western Australia’s South West and showcase the three varieties that Margaret River is so well-known for – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Find out what Matt Byrne loves about the Wild Cape Chardonnay below!
Senior Winemaker Matt Byrne on the Wild Cape Chardonnay vision
“For me, Andrew’s images capture an intensity that’s palpable - rawness, purity and power. This was a winemaking ethos I had before I met Andrew, so the synergy was great. At each step in growing and making these wines, I wanted to ensure the purity and intensity of flavour and freshness was maximised and then preserved – I am super happy with the result!
“This wine showcases the power of flavour in Chardonnay that Margaret River is renowned for. Complexity too – with toasty, classy oak which sits below the fruit and savoury characters from wild ferment and yeast lees,” Matt said.
On producing this Wild Cape wine, Matt said, “This is a wine made in a hands-off, pure way with pristine, first-class fruit. The result is a classy Chardonnay wine, which achieves the rare feat of showing complexity without sacrificing freshness and flavour.”
Fruit was pressed straight into French oak barriques for wild fermentation before being chilled and lightly sulphured. No malolactic fermentation occurred to retain purity and style; however, the wine was left in barrel for 11 months to mature on yeast lees before a further 4 months on lees in a stainless-steel tank to enhance the final texture.
Matt Byrne’s tasting note
Powerful ripe, fleshy stone fruit and melon flavours only found in the best Chardonnay fruit grown in Margaret River. Apricot, peach and tropical fruits are balanced and matched with wild barrel fermented elements of malt, cashew nut and fresh toast. A long, intriguing and massively flavoursome Chardonnay wine from the cooler 2021 vintage.
Matt’s favourite meal to eat with the Wild Cape Chardonnay is pink snapper ceviche.
If he had just three words to describe the Wild Cape Chardonnay, they would be: “Complexity, flavour, power.”
- Silver Medal – Royal Hobart Wine Show 2022
Watch the video below to hear Matt talking about the Wild Cape Chardonnay and what he believes makes Margaret River Chardonnay so unique.
You can shop the Wild Cape range here.