Made from vines that Timo Mayer planted in 1998 with cuttings from Coldstream Hills, the fruit is picked in the morning and is whole bunched pressed into old (the last new barrel Timo purchased for the Chardonnay was in 2009) 300-litre Hogsheads. Picked early and with high natural acidity, the wine goes through a full malo with no added acid. There is no lees stirring and the wine spends six months in oak before going into stainless steel to settle for another four months. Relatively low in alcohol, this always complex, refined and textured wine can be enjoyed young or cellared for up to 5-7 years.
"The 2019 harvest was ‘a drought year, smaller, thicker skinned berries, less fruit, less wine made, you know. Lots of colour, lots of tannin, concentrated flavours’.
Gold-green colour. Flavoursome, tangy, chewy chardonnay of great complexity, mouthfeel and general velocity. Green apple crunch with tart grapefruit juice sprayed over it, chalkiness, exceptional length. It’s a blisteringly fresh wine now, but I reckon best to come too. Epic feel here."
96 points, The Wine Front (March 2020)
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.