2018 Salo Chardonnay

Two of the modern masters of Yarra winemaking collaborating on one small batch of Chardonnay. Flamsteed and Mackintosh knock it out of the park once again.

Sale price$45.00
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This 2018 Chardonnay is a great example to date of what these two brilliant winemakers are trying to achieve in their colab project.

The fruit comes from the Full Moon vineyard in the cooler Gladysdale sub region of the Upper Yarra Valley, with all the hard work being put in in the vineyard rather than the winery. It's very simply whole bunch pressed into old, large format oak, with wild yeasts no additions.

It's a natural, energetic, highly characterful Chardonnay, expressing the slightly wild side if these two wonderful winemakers.

The last few vintages have sold out in short order as this wine has developed its own following.

The 2018 release does not disappoint.


Over the last 6 years we have made Salo from a single block of Chardonnay grown on the deep red volcanic soils in the upper Yarra, farmed by Simon Harte. These vines are now 18 years of age and each year, they seem to deliver a little more elegance and concentration into our wine. There is something about Yarra vineyards settling into a balance and maturity as they approach the end of their 2nd decade..


2018 was a pretty crazy season… We had a solid flowering in Spring, a cool October then a very warm November and this weather with a successful bloom, means lots of flowers turn into lots of berries ..and lots of bunches. A series of tropical storms sucked down from northern Australia in December delivered 200mm rain before Christmas, so there was a massive push of energy into the vine canopies - we had the most magnificent dark green leaves and lots of growth. There were a few heat spikes in January, but because we had such lovely big canopies and lots of bunches to choose from we made the decision to thin out any small green bunches or bunches in the wrong place. February was dry, warm and just a constant succession of 30 deg days and cool nights, so we saw a very active ripening across the block. Harvest came on quickly and the flavours were amazing - very much pear and melon more than the 2017 citrus, but acids were surprisingly crisp. It comes back to really good vine “balance” and the energy delivered with this amazing season.


Fruit was hand-picked on the 3rd March, chilled in the cold room overnight and then whole bunch pressed to a tank high in the winery. The small tank is then rummaged and run by gravity down to 500 L (1 new one, the rest older) Puncheons with full juice solids. Wild fermentation finished in mid-April and a few of the puncheons then went through a spontaneous malo, which has added a lovely creaminess and length to the mouthfeel. It’s quite a different vintage (and wine) to the 2017. There is a lovely freshness and energy to this wine – really delicious as a new release, but we think with good cellaring this wine will develop some lovely complexity over the next 5 -10 years.

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