2019 Salo Chardonnay

Yarra Valley, VIC

Sensational release of the collaborative Chardonnay between Steve Flamsteed (Giant Steps) & Dave Mackintosh (Arfion).



Out of Stock

Very excellent.

Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)

About The Wine

This 2019 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 2019 release does not disappoint.

About Salo

Salo is the project of two of the Yarra Valley's most loved winemakers - Steve Flamsteed (of Giant Steps fame) and Dave Mackintosh (Arfion main man).

They describe the aim of this side label best:

"We want to use intuitive winemaking on premium parcels of fruit to make gritty, textured, natural wines. University taught us how to overcomplicate things; to add yeast, add malo bugs and add complexity by working wines. It’s taken many years to knock these thoughts out of our heads, and we’ve found that if you have great fruit, the best wine is made by doing bugger all."

These wines are released in extremely limited quantities and are a cult-favourite among Yarra Valley Chardonnay fans.

Steve Flamsteed & Dave Mackintosh
Steve Flamsteed & Dave Mackintosh
Yarra Valley, VIC
Additional Info

From The Producer

Recently, we opened a bottle of our first Salo Chardonnay. The 2008 feels like it was made a lifetime ago and indeed, the wine was clinging on for dear life, but it was bloody nice to reflect on this inaugural release. Crazily, 2019 is our 12th vintage of Salo Chardonnay. Some of you guys have supported us since the first wine, some have come in later, but we thank you all for the support!

This is our seventh year working with Simon Harte at the Full Moon Vineyard up in the Southern Hills of the Yarra Valley. Simon tends 23 year old vines grown on chocolate, red coloured volcanic soils on a gentle west facing slope in Gladysdale. It’s a marginal subregion for grape growing but with careful vineyard management these vines have produced pristine and powerful fruit. The 2019 growing season had many challenges: a warm, wet Spring; a very warm and dry December / early January pushing fast growth and ripening; and a severe lack of pickers were among just a few. But, on reflection, it feels like luck was on our side…

A cool cycle in late January / early February, coupled with good crop levels and a nice big green canopy seemed to save us, as ripening stalled and classic Yarra flavours were retained. At the end of February we saw another major heat spike that made the forests surrounding the Yarra a tinderbox. Bush fires seemed inevitable and on the 1st of March a large fire developed in the hills to the south.

Fortunately, the day before, we had all hands on deck to whip the fruit off in perfect condition.

Our winemaking hasn’t changed a great deal in the last ten years. This is testament to the Yarra Valley’s ability to produce top quality Chardonnay even in the most challenging of years. We just let the wine flow to it’s end destination with a few tweaks here and there. The Hand Picked fruit was chilled in the cold room overnight and then whole bunch pressed to a small tank high in the winery. The tank is then rummaged and run to 500 Litre (all second use) Puncheons by gravity with full juice solids. Wild fermentation finished in late April and the wine was lightly sulphured a few months later. No stirring, unfined and unfiltered. Even with all its challenges 2019 sits firmly in the top 5 list of vintages since 2008.

Blend : Chardonnay (100%)
ABV : 13.00%
Closure : Screw Cap
Drink Until : 2030
Production : 300 dozen

The Full Moon vineyard
The Full Moon vineyard
Yarra Valley, VIC
Expert Reviews

Critic Reviews

The Wine Front

"Salo always tastes like Salo, which is as it should be, though vintages obviously shape the outcome. This is kind of thick and fleshy but with a firm core of enlivening acidity. It tastes of pie apple with a savoury edge of roast chicken and toasted hazelnuts, ripe lime acidity, fine chalk dust texture, and again that almost creamy oatmeal and an umami sake thing on a long and juicy citrus finish of precision and grip. Very excellent." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)


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