Monday, December 13, 2021

Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay

 For 30 years, from about 1980, the answer to which wine was Australia's best Chardonnay, was relatively simple. It was either Giaconda's Chardonnay or the Leeuwin Art Series, with Pierro challenging in some years. During this time, Penfolds embarked on the 'white Grange' project, the ambition very clear.

A few weeks ago, I tasted the highly acclaimed 2018 Yattarna. It is a very good wine, and as I have a couple of bottles in my cellar I will report on it in the future. However, the wine would not have made me change my view expressed in the previous paragraph.

Then I tasted the 2012 Penfolds Yattarna a few days ago. This wine blew me away. It started with the pungent nose of exotic fruit. The wine is sourced, I believe, from three regions, Adelaide Hills, Henty (Victoria) and Tasmania. As a cool climate wine, you expect citrus the dominant, maybe only flavour. However, this wine shows peach, grapefruit, even some tropical fruits. Biscotti notes round out the palate.  This is complex! It remains focused and precise. The overall mouthfeel has some ageing Semillon characteristics as well. Smoothed out acidity, and a gentleness, which is very appealing.

This is the greatest Australian Chardonnay since the 1987 Leeuwin Chardonnay (with apologies to the younger readers).

Score: 97/+++


Tyrone said...

What a review. Of late we haven’t heard as much about Yattarna compared to other premium chardonnays, but Penfolds have the vineyard and financial resources and I expect people talent to produce as good a wine as anyone in Australia. Welll done to them, especially achieving this with a multi-regional blend.

Mark said...

Great tasting note, clearly the wine was under stelvin, as it sounds so fresh.
Ive not drank a Yattarna before, but if i see this vintage at auction ill buy it

Alontin said...

Yes, Tyrone, single vineyard wines have certainly been on trend the last few years. However, if one can produce a wine like this, I am delighted to drink it. Also, I tasted the 2018 and 2019 versions recently, and they are great as well. Maybe blended wines can deliver an extra level of complexity if well made.

Yes, Mark, the wine was under Stelvin. I would certainly encourage you to buy it.