YABBY LAKE VINEYARD Single Vineyard Chardonnay, Mornington Peninsula
This Chardonnay is a blend of different clones, typically around half Mendoza (or Hen-and-Chicken), from different vineyard blocks within the much larger Yabby Lake estate vineyard at Tuerong in the northern sector of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The prevailing soil type is sandy clay loam with ironstone.
Fruit parcels are handpicked and handled separately in the winery, with minimal intervention. The grapes are whole-bunch pressed and transferred, with solids, into tight-grained, 500-litre French oak puncheons (20% new) for natural fermentation. The wine subsequently matures on lees in the same barrels for (usually) 11 months and does not go through malolactic fermentation. This preserves its refreshing acidity and taut structure.
Yabby Lake says: ‘Our philosophy is to craft a Chardonnay of great purity, reflecting our site and the season in which it was grown. It’s the attention and care in the vineyard that is most critical to allowing that expression’.
Light yellow colour. Shy, subdued bouquet; the palate very lemony, fresh and crisp, delicate yet very intense with a lingering finish. Clean and bright; oak is invisible. Superbly cleansing, refreshing finish. An outstanding wine, very long and pure on the palate, with great line. Drink to 2025.
95 points, Real Review, July 2018
Four clones (Mendoza, P58, 96 and 76), hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented (no mlf) in French puncheons (20% new), matured for 11 months. Terrific drive, focus and length, mouthwatering in its intensity. Pink grapefruit and white-fleshed stone fruit are the centre of attention.
95 points, Wine Companion, March 2017
A much more floral and lighter wine that has a very elegant palate. Shorter and less intensity but altogether simpler too. The fruits are more in the peach zone due to this ripe, early vintage. A lick of toasty oak at the finish.
92 points, jamessuckling.com, August 2018
The Mornington Peninsula is located approximately one hour south of Melbourne. A cool maritime climate,the region is virtually frost free, but is susceptible to high winds. Rainfall is moderate, throughout winter and the growing season. Most of the vineyards are located between just above sea level and 200 metres. Soils range from weathered volcanic soils to sandy loams and friable well-drained clays. Mornington Peninsula is best known for making elegant cool climate Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and sublime Pinot Noir.
The Kirby family set up Yabby Lake in 1992, however, it wasn’t until 1998, that they located and planted their first vineyard site in the sub-region of Moorooduc, Mornington Peninsula. Under the winemaking helm of Tom Carson, Yabby Lake has built an enviable reputation for crafting impeccably balanced premium wines highly expressive of variety and site. Alongside the Yabby Lake estate label, several other ranges are produced including Heathcote Estate, and Yabby Lake’s early drinking second label Red Claw.
Red Claw is the highly-regarded ‘second-label’ of Yabby Lake. Its primary focus is the Mornington Peninsula, where Yabby Lake has 50 hectares of estate vineyards at Moorooduc. Red Claw makes ‘fresh, expressive wines from our own vineyards’ and strives for a quality image, but without complications. ‘For all our style’, they say, ‘there’s a whole lot of substance to back it up’. Red Claw’s Peninsula-sourced range comprises Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Red Claw Shiraz comes from Heathcote, where Heathcote Estate is part of the group.