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The Saffron Chardonnay Sauvignon is a side step in style for Yarra Valley producers James and Claire Lance.
The Friends of Punch label began in 2009 when the bushfires in the area demolished the crop on the Lance’s vineyard. Surrounding vignerons came to the rescue offering fruit for the couple to make a 2009 release. They have continued to take fruit from these helpful friends, at once repaying them for their support in the couple’s time of need and also allowing Claire and James some scope to experiment with different winemaking ideas.
This is Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc made, in essence, like a red wine. The two varieties were co-fermented on skins with the Chardonnay component as whole bunches, then pressed to barrel to mature and naturally go through full MLF.
This is a fresher and crisper style of Amber wine, striking just the balance of interest and drinkability. Only 100 dozen made.
What It Tastes Like
“Gold colour, lifted floral nose combined with yellow ripe stonefruit, lemon peel and lemongrass from the whole bunch component. Palate is vibrant, combining freshness and complexity of fruit, acidity and purity. A natural wine, with a lot of finesse and restraint.” - James Lance
Vinification - Sauvignon destemmed, Chardonnay as whole bunches, fermented together for 15 days, then pressed to old barrel to complete fermentation. Full natural MLF in barrel.
Elevage - 4 months in old French oak without SO2 then stored in tank for 9 months. Bottled under crown seal with no fining and filtration.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2020
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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