"2020 will be a great Yarra Chardonnay year, due to those cold nights and the high natural acidity they encouraged. It has a relatively serious nose with a touch of flint, hazelnut oak, vanilla, jasmine - then a friendly palate." Tim Shand - Winemaker
2021 was an excellent Chardonnay vintage in the Yarra. Disease pressure and mild days/cold nights are always in the recipe for good years. We picked a touch early to avoid rain events, and a bit of botrytis was creeping in. The fruit was crushed to the press, with more pressings included than usual due to the unprecedented phenolic ripeness of 2021. The fruit was grown on Napoleone Vineyard blocks 4 (north-east facing), 11D and 11E (south-west facing) as always. These vines were planted in 1987 and 1991 to I10V1.
This is the most delicate and fine-boned Chardonnay of my time at Punt Road. Half of the wine went through malolactic conversion, otherwise nothing much of note in the winemaking; it’s the vintage driving everything here. The nose shows citrus, vanilla and white flowers. The palate has lemongrass and ginger, linearity and a touch of class, which manifests itself in a slight waxiness and the restraint of the fruit character. - Tim Shand, Punt Road
Where this wine comes from - Yarra Valley
Just 50 kilometres from Melbourne, Victoria’s Yarra Valley is a star of the wine regions surrounding the city, known as the ‘Melbourne Dress Circle’. With plenty of microclimates and sub-regions, the Yarra Valley doesn’t have a weak link. Certainly the region’s reputation has been built on the quality of its cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As far as Chardonnay goes, Yarra Valley strikes the right balance of ripeness, without going over the edge. There’s white peach, lemon pith and Fuji apple supported by a fine spine of citrus-like acidity complemented by supportive oak maturation. The region’s Pinot Noir certainly produces that ethereal quality that Pinot-philes go crazy for – with lifted cherry notes, texture and length. Pinosity? It’s here in spades. Don’t discount Yarra Valley Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, which also have a long history in the region and are being recognised for producing their own unique regional styles. Game on!