Yattarna Chardonnay 2019

Could it be true that Penfold's - that bastion of Aussie red winedom - best wine is a white wine? In our humble opinion, it not only could be true, it is true!

Yattarna, or as it was known back in the days following its inception, white Grange, is now regularly at or around the top of the tree in Australian Chardonnay ranks year-in-year-out. No mean feat considering the legion of outstanding quality chardonnay now being produced in this country; far more than in any other wine producing region outside the better climats of Burgundy. So within that context, it is an out and out superstar. The 2019 blew us away last week, just like the 2018 did the year previous and before that, the 2017 vintage.

It hasn't always been an easy road to recognition though. There's been no shortage of cynics, especially within the wine trade. The concept that Penfolds could just come along and produce something of this kind of quality has been a bitter pill for some to swallow. Critics, producers, sommeliers and retailers have all, at various junctures, readied themselves for an assault on the wine.

But, while some of the early renditions were more caricature than the real deal, recent incarnations show that the talented winemaking crew have found the sweet spot. In a winemaking sense that seems to be by sourcing from three regions - Tasmania (Coal River & Derwent Valley), Tumbarumba and the Adelaide Hills - with percentages moving up or down depending on vintage. In 2019 that mix was 57/32/11% Tasmania/Tumbarumba/Adelaide Hills. Anyway, you can find oodles of information about how it's made but its pretty standard winemaking practice that doesn't bear repeating here for the zillionth time.

The salient point is this, it's an awesome bottle of chardonnay, Awesome in any company, be it amongst other outstanding Aussies, or amongst most of the white Burgundies that you'd care to compare it against. In fact, most years a mate of mine lines it up against various stars of the Burgundy foment - always blind - and every year its one of the top wines and, in terms of value, it is the top wine.

I've listed a couple of reviews below that beautifully describe the wine. For me, the wine has the 'disco ball" decadence of well managed sulphides (struck match), grilled nuts and exuberant stone fruit all beautifully knitted together across a matrix of ripe acidity and flecks of minerality, and then subtly seasoned with oak, that's spot on. It's got power to burn but effortless balance. Detailed and complete.

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