Pierro Chardonnay 2021
Pierro-Chardonnay-2021

Pierro Chardonnay 2021

Sale price$96.95
Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia

Style: White Wine

Variety: Chardonnay

Closure: Screwcap

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Pierro Chardonnay 2021

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Australia

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Producer: Pierro

Country: Australia

Region: Margaret River

Vintage: 2021

Critic Score: 97

Alcohol: 13.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2035


Creamy, salty and refined. Polished and spicy... it's all here. Seamless. Superstar - Erin Larkin

"Since the mid 1980s Mike Peterkin has crafted a chardonnay of not only monumental power, but of simultaneously smooth and silky delivery. Pierro Chardonnay is the role model for so many of Australia's more opulent and hedonistically proportioned chardonnays and is a stunning expression of Margaret River chardonnay"  Jeremy Oliver

Mike Peterkin established the Pierro Vineyard in Willyabrup in 1980. This small family winery has crafted some of Margaret River's most exciting and stylish wines in the subsequent 43 years. Their Chardonnay is simply monumental and is one of Australia's iconic wines. 

"Pierro DNA is so distinctive, it’s unmissable. As usual, this is rich and ripe, voluptuous even, but it doesn’t run away in that direction, it curves back with the firm thread of acidity restraining it. Full of lemon-lime bitters, stone fruit and honeydew, ginger spice and lots of creamy lees filling out the palate. Then wham! The acidity says stop. No more, I’ll finish off. As you do, the last sip."  Jane Faulkner

"This is a wine of great finesse yet impressive power, tight structure yet generosity of flavour. Ripe melony, peachy characters yet noticeable restraint and subtlety. An unctuous mouth-feel yet with taut, fine acidity on the finish. It will start to be at its best about June 2023 and will continue to mature gracefully for another 10 years. A world class white which is well entrenched in the top Chardonnay's of Australia.

Each parcel is hand-picked, chilled, hand-sorted and gently whole bunch pressed. There are multiple picks for this wine. With the first batches being picked for aromatic complexity and acidity and the latter picked for flavour and body. All juice is settled and then fermented in French barriques. The wine goes through a full malolactic fermentation which helps achieve superior texture, mouth feel and a more refined, persistent flavour. Lees are stirred fortnightly by hand in barrel over a period of 12 months prior to blending, settling and bottling."  Pierro

Expert reviews

"Cooler season has resulted in this distinctly linear almost Burgundy-like expression of Margaret River Chardonnay. It's one of the tightest Pierro Chardonnays that I can recall, but I suspect it will age to reveal some of those beautiful vineyard qualities. Chalky minerality with a little butterscotch and savoury notes turning the screws to tighten a focussed finish. Beautifully integrated palate."  Ray Jordan, Wine Pilot - 97 points

"The 2021 Chardonnay is creamy, salty and refined. As per usual for Pierro, there's a skein of crushed nuts and brine here. It's so polished and spicy as it is, with salted cashews, white peach, red apple skins, fresh grated nutmeg, almond meal, curry leaves ... it's all here. Seamless. Superstar. 13.5% alcohol, sealed under screw cap. Drink: 2023-2041."  Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate - 96 points

"Pierro DNA is so distinctive, it’s unmissable. Aside from the quality fruit, winemaking has a big impact on its chardonnays. As usual, this is rich and ripe, voluptuous even, but it doesn’t run away in that direction, it curves back with the firm thread of acidity restraining it. Full of lemon-lime bitters, stone fruit and honeydew, ginger spice and lots of creamy lees filling out the palate. Then wham! The acidity says stop. No more, I’ll finish off. As you do, the last sip. Drink by 2029."  Jane Faulkner, Halliday Wine Companion - 96 points

"Peach, melon, ripe lime, cashew and spice, a little fennel and vanilla perfume too. It's glossy and smooth, a good cut of juicy citrus acidity, spicy biscuits, fine chalky texture, intense but kind of calm, with a flinty finish of impeccable length. Flavour and presence, and such a wonderful expression of full-flavoured Margaret River Chardonnay. Drink: 2023 - 2029+."  Gary Walsh, The Wine Front - 96 points

"It's a decadently styled wine with alluring aromas of brioche, button mushrooms, golden delicious apples and cigarbox spice. On the palate, intense flavours wash across - honeyed stone fruits, freshly baked sourdough and crème patissière are tailed by saline flavours that delight. Year after year, it's clear that this is not only one of Margaret River's best wines but also Australia's. Drink: Now to 2035."  Gabrielle Poy, The Real Review - 96 points

Pierro chardonnay

Pierro ChardonnayMike Peterkin had initially intended to specialise in Riesling, so it was a tad fortuitous that Chardonnay became Pierro's most famous wine. His vine supplier had been let down on a large order of Chardonnay rootstock, approximately 5000 cuttings, and offered them to Mike at a cut price. In order to help him out he agreed to take them.

It turned out to be an inspired decision. Today Pierro is amongst the finest Chardonnays in the region and seeing as Margaret River is indisputably Australia's premier Chardonnay producing region, this is a major honour. Innovation and location have been the key factors in developing the quality of the Pierro chardonnay.

The Chardonnay vineyard is of particular interest, planted at between 4,000 and 5,500 vines per hectare (compared to a conventional Australian vineyard of 1,900 per hectare), making it the first high-density planting of its kind in Margaret River. 

The Pierro Chardonnay style was first made in the 1986 vintage. "I was not completely satisfied with the first three vintages of Chardonnay (1983-85), which were carried out following standard Australian winemaking practices, so I decided to make some radical changes. In the winery we allow our Chardonnay to undergo a 100% malolactic fermentation which helps achieve superior texture, mouth feel and a more refined and persistent flavour." 

Today there are five distinct blocks of Chardonnay on the property in Willyabrup, with the average vine age reaching 30 years. 90% of the Pierro Chardonnay is the Gin-Gin clone which has proven itself to produce the best quality wine and one that has been particularly successful in Margaret River. Each block features unique high-density narrow rows on rocky soil that slope down to the Willyabrup Brook and are orientated to the west and north. 

The vineyards are managed to maximise fruit, leaf and cane exposure to sunlight; minimise wind damage in the often blustery southern spring; and to heighten flavour development in the summer ripening period. Our vine management is designed to achieve maximum balance with good leaf vigour supporting just the right amount of fruit. Such techniques result in healthy, highly flavoursome grapes arriving in the winery for processing.

Mike Peterkin

Mike Peterkin

Mike Peterkin is a medical practitioner as well as a fully qualified viticulturist and winemaker. He juggled the two demanding vocations for 25 years before finishing up his duties as a country doctor to devote his energies full-time to perfecting his wines. 

One of the region's many winemaking doctors, he was among the first to be qualified in oenology. After graduating in medicine from the University of Western Australia in 1973 at the age of 24, Mike decided that his love of wine and winemaking could not be ignored any longer. He attended South Australia's Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1976 and 1977 and gained a Diploma in Oenology.

Returning from his studies at Roseworthy, he was appointed winemaker at Cullen in 1978. He transformed the estate’s reputation by producing Australia’s first Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend – a style for which Margaret River, in particular, is now famous (and which Mike continues to make with his sensational LTC). From 1978 to 1981, he also made wines at Enterprise Wines in Clare and Alkoomi in Western Australia's great southern region.

In 1980, while working as a consultant winemaker, he established the Pierro Vineyard. In March 1983 Pierro released its first vintage from the vineyard; a Blanc de Blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. 

During this busy time in his life he could be forgiven for forsaking medicine, but in 1982, he managed to complete a postgraduate degree in obstetrics and gynaecology and postgraduate work in anaesthetics.

The text below is taken from an article titled 'Behind the Scenes at Pierro' by Ben Pearson 

If you only met Mike Peterkin briefly, it would be easy to think of him as cantankerous, gruff, perhaps. But then, you’ll notice there’s a mischievous twinkle in his eye – laughing at a private joke, one that you may never quite get. Quiet, modest yet undeniably talented, he is one of the most enigmatic people I’ve ever met. Unbelievably particular, it is Mike Peterkin’s attention to detail and insistence on doing things just so that has put Pierro on the fine wine map.

Little has changed at Pierro since Mike first started making the wines in the 1980s. The winemaking approach is supremely sensible – a balanced, scientific style that is detailed, measured. Having witnessed the faulty wines first produced in the region, a style now echoed by some of those within the natural wine movement, Pierro holds itself to an extraordinarily high standard. In two months’ work, I saw four barrels of wine poured literally down the drain, as they weren’t up to scratch, having low levels of VA (volatile acidity). The grapes are sorted meticulously (with sorting at bunch and berry level for the reds) and gently pressed. The wines are inoculated for fermentation, sulphured lightly and fined before bottling; this may not be the most fashionable way to make wine today, but it’s clear when tasting through Pierro’s range that it works.

And, above anything else, Mike Peterkin is not a man who gives in to fads or fashions. As the trend for reductive, struck-match-scented Chardonnays took Australia by storm, Pierro stayed true to its style. Its Chardonnay remains a voluptuous, rich, buttery beast that goes through 100 percent malolactic, aged in 50 percent new oak. Yet in amongst all that richness, there is a line of taut acidity, and a purity of fruit that makes it supremely drinkable and deliciously age-worthy. There is a reason that Langtons classifies Pierro’s Chardonnay as 'outstanding'. 

About the winery

Pierro Wines

Pierro, situated in the stunning Willyabrup sub-region of Margaret River, was acquired by Dr Mike Peterkin in 1979. The 65 acres of beautiful undulating bushland was chosen due to its north facing slopes, gravelly loam soils and the Willyabrup brook, which flows through the entire property.

Mike, a medical practitioner and qualified viticulturalist and winemaker, planted the first vines in September 1980. By 1985, 11 acres had been planted with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Noir. The Medoc varietals, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc came later. Today, just under 20 acres are planted to vines.

The Chardonnay vineyard is of particular interest, planted at between 4,000 and 5,500 vines per hectare (compared to a conventional Australian vineyard of 1,900 per hectare), making it the first high-density planting of its kind in Margaret River. There are several plantings that have followed since 2000, but it remains a rare formation today. The Pierro Chardonnay has stayed true to style over the years; it remains opulent and hedonistically proportioned and goes through a full malolactic fermentation.

Peterkin was the first in Margaret River to make a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend. This was in 1979, while he was making wine for Cullen, and the wine then went on to win a trophy at the Perth Royal Wine Show. It has since become one of the region's strongest and most distinctive wine styles. Mike never claimed any originality for the idea, he simply borrowed it from the French. What he did do was create a new style which emphasized aroma, freshness and fruit character. The Pierro LTC Semillon Sauvignon was launched in 1989.

This small family winery has crafted some of Margaret River's most exciting and stylish wines for the past 43 years. "Just as Pierrot personifies life's intricacies and passions, Pierro wine is a wonderfully complex balance of sensual and fascinating elements. In a world where mediocrity can become a pervasive norm, the wines of Pierro are a shining exception. We make no secret that care, and attention to detail and quality are our primary objectives. We hope we have paid our dues through many years of perseverance and struggle, to produce wine that incorporates land and culture. Our vineyards are farmed naturally, with sheep grazing in winter to control weeds and promote growth of clover and pasture. This is followed by organic compost as fertiliser, all of which promotes carbon storage in the soil. We seek to be efficient land-users and to respect the land. Our aim is to be at the cutting edge of wine as agriculture, art and responsible land use."  Pierro

wine region map of australia

Western Australia

Western Australia is home to more than 400 wineries across nine vast and extraordinary wine regions which are almost entirely concentrated in the south-west and great southern land divisions of the State. The regions are Blackwood Valley, Geographe, Great Southern, Peel, Pemberton, Manjimup, Margaret River and Swan District.

The oldest region is the Swan Valley, the best known both nationally and internationally is Margaret River and the largest is Great Southern. The Great Southern region is further divided into the five subregions of Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup.

The history of wine production in Western Australia dates back to 1840 with the establishment of Sandalford in the Swan Valley region. The recognition of the fine wine possibilities started to be realised after the establishment of the Margaret River Region in 1967, which has become renowned for its high quality Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The other regions produce a diverse range of regionally distinct wines, from stunning Rieslings and evocative Shiraz, to a range of unique Cabernet Sauvignon blends.