The Katherine’s Paddock Chardonnay is sourced from a propitiously situated east-facing block that captures both the morning sun and afternoon breezes, serving to cool and concentrate the fruit. Subsequently, the picking window is considerably later than anything grown on the valley. There is a creamed cashew core and a panoply of tropical to stone fruit references riding bright acid rails and a gentle phenolic chew that winemaker Paul Bridgeman prizes.
White peach, nougat, gentle spice and subtle struck match. It’s medium-weight but packs in flavour, a gentle glide and gloss of almond creaminess with the vigour and ripe grapefruit acid cut of the 2017 vintage. There’s grip and substance, some citrus pith and lime rind, and a very long finish, smooth almond and stonefruit, cinched in with chalky texture and bridging (Bridgeman) phenolics. Beautiful expression of Yarra Chardonnay here.
96 points, The Wine Front (November 2019)
Light to mid, bright yellow colour with a savoury, subtly complex bouquet that has some oak and estery almost volatile nuances. The finish seems hot as if from high alcohol, but the declared alcohol is just a moderate 13.5%. The palate structure is tight and refined, high-tensile and taut, the aftertaste long and dry and appetising. A tad unconventional but very tasty and satisfying.
93 points, The Real Review (February 2020)
Restrained, shy, elusive bouquet with hints of both smoky sulfide and toasty oak. It’s soft and rich in the mouth, with hazelnut and stone fruit characters abounding, the sulfides happily understated. The acidity is attractively fine and seamless. Rich, powerful and generous. A lovely wine, balanced in every regard. Delicious drinking.
96 points, The Real Review (May 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.