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The Journey Chardonnay is a beautiful example of finding balance through blending fruit from around a region.
Here, Journey frontman Damian North, takes fruit from three sites across the Yarra Valley: two sites in the Upper Yarra and one in Gruyere.
What started as a questionable season in 2014 eventually turned into a low-yielding but high-quality year, this wine shows the fruits of that season.
James Halliday awarded this 95 points calling it “a powerful Chardonnay” and Campbell Mattinson labeled it “Fundamentally delicious” in his 93 point review.
A classic Yarra Chardonnay done with style and panache.
What It Tastes Like
“Yes. Fundamentally delicious. It smells of fennel and then tastes of red grapefruit and stonefruits, pear and spice. The finish is a blaze of chalky firmness/texture. All the while, it’s succulent and seamless. You can ask of little more.” - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
95 points. “From three distinguished parts of the Yarra Valley, whole bunch-pressed, 25% fermented in new puncheons from leading coopers, the balance in used puncheons and barriques on lees (with some stirring), matured for 10 months. This is a powerful chardonnay with layers of white peach fruit interleaved with grapefruit. It carries this off with panache.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
93 points “Yes. Fundamentally delicious. It smells of fennel and then tastes of red grapefruit and stonefruits, pear and spice. The finish is a blaze of chalky firmness/texture. All the while, it’s succulent and seamless. You can ask of little more.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
Briarty Hill - Gruyere, Yarra Valley. Silty clay loam interspersed with iron stone gravel over brown clay. North and north-westerly aspects. I10V1 clone planted in 1994. Hand-picked on 26/02/14.
Tibooburra - Yellingbo, Upper Yarra Valley. Chocolate and red volcanic soil over yellow clay. North-easterly aspect. Mendoza clone planted in 2005. Hand-picked on 13/03/14.
Willowlake - Gladysdale, Upper Yarra Valley. Clay loam soil. Southerly aspect. P58 clone planted in 199. Hand-picked on 08/03/14.
The whole-bunch fruit was pressed while cool. The juice settled for around 18 hours before racking to barrel with high solids content. Fermentation with wild yeast took place in 25% new French 500 litre puncheons (Mercurey, D’Aquitane and Dargaud & Jaeglé), with the remainder in one and two year old French puncheons and older French barriques. Ferment temperatures were kept low to maintain fruit freshness. Once fermentation was complete the wine was sulphured immediately with no malolactic fermentation. The wine remained on yeast lees in barrel for 10 months, stirred occasionally to enhance mid-palate complexity and mouth-feel only
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Damian North is the man with the Journey. He’s wound his way from the tables at Tetusya’s in Sydney to the Pinot-riddled hills of Oregon to finally wind up with his own label in the beautiful Yarra Valley. Pinot Noir will always be his first love but he has also become a dab hand at producing sensational Shiraz and Chardonnay for selected sites across the Yarra. His is a star on the rise.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
Australian Chardonnay is a seductive variety that comes in all shapes and sizes. From the toasty and voluptuous to the lean, flinty and minerally, there is a Chardonnay out there to suit everyone. Australia’s developing prowess with this variety has been marked by the international community with wine writers such as Jancis Robinson marvelling at the outstanding value to be had right across the country. The prestige brands of Margaret River offer wines of deep flavour and power, often crafting fuller-figured Chardonnay of outstanding quality. The cooler-climate wines from the Yarra Valley, Tasmania and the like are more focused and linear, building complexity around a backbone of pristine acidity. Whatever your preference, there is an Australian Chardonnay to enchant all comers.
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