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Luke Lambert is one of the Yarra Valley’s most talented younger generation winemakers. His low-intervention winemaking style has been producing effortless wines over the last decade. Low-fi winemaking with quality at its heart.
This comes from the cool, east-facing slope of the Tibooburra vineyard and is a gorgeous reflection of the site. The 2016 season was warmer than usual for the site/region, however, Luke cleverly employed more lees stirring this vintage to soften the ripe fruit characters and dial in texture and complexity without taking away from the character and purity of the fruit.
Tiny volumes available as always of one the best Australian Chardonnays of the new vanguard.
What It Tastes Like
Riper than last year’s, more grunt and chewy texture, too. Yellow peaches and grapefruit on a creamy bed of fluffy lees. Acid is still tight as it threads like a needle through the main body of the wine. A soft powdery grip on the finish. Succulent Chardonnay of style and panaché.
94 points “Peach, oatmeal, Japanese ginger, spiced pie apple, faint whiff of chicken stock, or something similarly savoury. Lighter bodied, savoury and flinty, with ruby red grapefruit flavour and acidity, complexity and energy, and a long chalk dusted finish. It’s a fascinating style, a little outside the mainstream, but always great to drink.”
- Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
Again, Luke has drawn his raw materials from the windy, east-facing slope of the Tibooburra vineyard, a site where the skinny red volcanic soils (with seams of yellow clay and smashed granite) offer Luke the low yields of intensely flavoured berries that are sine qua non to his minimal-intervention style.
The winemaking credo follows last year’s blueprint - whole-bunch pressing, wild-yeast fermentation, old oak, no temperature control, zero fining or filtration and minimal sulphur - and Luke notes there was again a bit more stirring than in cooler vintages, as the 2016 had plenty of fruit/mineral weight behind it, so he lifted the lees through the wine a little more than usual, ‘to drag the fruit levels down a bit’.
Closure: Diam Cork
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2024
About the Producer
Luke Lambert is one of the young guns of the Yarra Valley. His wines are distinctly ‘old world’ in style, with his philosophy being all about wines reflecting their place and terroir, and of minimal intervention in the winery.
Contrary to many of his Pinot Noir-obsessed contemporaries in the Yarra, Luke focuses on Syrah and Nebbiolo as his flagship red varieties. He uses judicious amounts of whole bunch in his traditionally inspired winemaking, gently drawing out the very essence of the special sites he sources fruit from. There is little doubt Luke will continue to produce some of the region’s most exciting wines over the coming years, he is a future icon of this Victorian region.
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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