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Chris Catlow is one of Beechworth’s most promising young winemakers. The level of detail applied his exploration of Chardonnay is exceptional.
The 2015 Sentio Yarra Valley Chardonnay is a wine of intensity and extreme precision.
The fruit is sourced from the famous Lusatia Park vineyard in the Yarra Valley. Chris chooses to pick this fruit a little later than many other winemakers from the region, looking for full flavour development with acid retention before the fruit comes off.
This is straight up basket pressed as whole bunches, the fruit as the soloist, oak playing second fiddle. The length is wonderful. The expression is pure. Campbell Mattinson labelled it, “Fine fruit; fine style; fine drinking.”
Strap yourself in, this is one of the best examples of Yarra Chardonnay we have seen this year.
What It Tastes Like
So good. So lean and focused like a long distance runner. Whiffs of cap guns, spicy oak, limes and nectarine. Pitched perfectly. Attacks the mouth like a whip being cracked but with a remarkable generosity of flavour in toe. Clean, squeaky acid cinches in the fruit. It’s wound tight but gee wizz it flows smooth. Stunning Chardonnay.
95 points “A captivating wine for its detail and precision: a mineral thread and lemon sorbet acidity driving this. Flinty, wet stones with a sprinkling of white pepper, hint of lees just adding a layer to the otherwise tight palate. The fruit comes off the Lusatia Park Vineyard, now owned by De Bortoli.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
93+ points “In many ways it’s a shame that the Lusatia Park vineyard has been sold. It’s fascinating to see the interpretations of assorted high quality winemakers. This is the take of Chris Catlow.
This has a lean, piercing element but so too does it boast grapefruit and sunny peach characters. You could accuse it of being lean and linear but you couldn’t accuse it of being too light-on. Matchstick, gun smoke and roasted bran-like characters dance across both the nose and the palate. Fine fruit; fine style; fine drinking.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Chris Catlow is one of Beechworth’s most dynamic young winemakers. In his handmade winery he is crafting Burgundian inspired wines of impressive quality. The wines focus on power and drive, structure and articulation of site. He is exploring the regionality of Victoria with an incisive eye.
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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